The Best of Friends: School-Based
The Best of Friends program is an innovative social skills program for children aged 5 to 13 developed by The Quirky Kid Clinic. The program can be delivered in various formats by a Quirky Kid facilitator. It can also be implemented directly by the school.
This article will provide useful information about the school-based version of the program where it is facilitated by a Quirky Kid facilitator. To find out more about this program, please visit the Quirky Kid website.
How is the program is structured?
This version is delivered over six sessions by a Quirky Kid facilitator. The goal of the intervention is to assist the target students in developing their social and emotional skills.
Before the program implementation, a parent is required to attend a parent session. The facilitator may also ask to complete a school observation to better understand the child's social functioning in that setting.
Who should use this program?
This version is suitable for children requiring more complex social skills intervention, such as children with an ASD, ADHD or with other persistent social difficulties.
How has the program been developed?
The program has been developed for over 15 years by Kimberley O'Brien, the principal psychologist at The Quirky Kid Clinic. The program is highly acclaimed by parents, teachers, health and educational professionals as a tool to solve "playground politics."
The development process was supported by clinic-based workshops, extensive pre-school and school observations as well as parent and school evaluations. In 2016 the program was published in the context of the Australian Curriculum and now includes an engaging workbook with 5 illustrated stories and several engaging activities.
What do you do during the workshop and how do you select the activities?
Workshops are tailored to individual circumstances. A brief initial interview is conducted by the classroom teacher, school counsellor or principal to gather information about the children. Parents also complete pre- and post-evaluation surveys that are used to collect information and monitor children's progress.
Activities are chosen based on students' age, social understanding, current playground issues, emotional literacy, and interests.
Who facilitates the workshops?
Trained and skill facilitators employed by The Quirky Kid Clinic. They complete regular professional development (at least 30 hours a year) and have regular access to supervision.
Your child's psychologist may not be the program facilitator. All facilitators comply with Working with Children legislation.