REALskills

What is REALskills?

REALskills is a project of The Family Centre, the name stands for Relationships Education And Life skills. REALskills has been developing and delivering programs in public schools in the Tweed Shire since 2001.

REALskills is a whole community approach to supporting children and young people through the transition to adulthood. The REALskills Mission is: Schools, parents and community support services are working together to ensure... Children and young people have the awareness and skills ...To have healthy relationships with themselves and others... For now and the future. REALskills builds community around young people. Schools often work in isolation and may be short of the time, skills and resources to meet all the welfare and relationship education needs of students. Service providers can find it difficult to access schools and many young people can miss out on accessing timely support. REALskills builds a bridge between the school community and the wider community of social and health service providers, in an integrated way.

What does REALskills provide?

REALskills provides a suite of programs that support the welfare and relationship education needs of students, parents and teachers. These programs are designed to involve and utilise the expertise of community and health service providers. They allow for the sharing of specialist knowledge and facilitation skills, amongst service providers and school staff. They also provide a range of 'activities' across the school years, which address the relationship and life skills needs of those age groups. Through REALskills schools can enhance their capacity to meet the social development needs of all their students.

Current REALskills programs include:

  • SuperMe! - Years 4-6 - A whole class program for Years 4-6
  • Being Real -  Year 8 or 9 - Targeted boys and girls groups for students who require support regarding family relationships, peer relationships, self esteem, and risk taking, selected by school staff, attending on a voluntary basis, within school hours.
  • Take a Stand -  Year 8 or 9 - a one day program focussing on self respect, values, personal boundaries, peer pressure and being safe (drug and alcohol, sexual expression, violence and bullying) for a whole year level.
  • Switched On - Year 10 - '' a 1 or 2 day program for the whole year level focusing on respectful intimate relationships, sex and sexuality, gender issues, and domestic violence and sexual assault. An optional add-on is a Leadership program for a select group of year 10 students who wish to take these ideas further and explore a peer leadership model
  • Link Up - Students or teachers - Service provider panel for any year group or school staff - a half day program focussing on the introduction of community services and developing help seeking skills
  • Soon They'll Be Teenagers - Parents - a 4 week course for parents of children aged 9-12 years. The program aims to assist parents to understand what is happening for their child during the pre-adolescent development stage and what to expect during adolescence. Assists parents to develop skills to improve communication, manage behaviour, support positive relationships, change established patterns and how to have 'tough' conversations.
  • Understanding Teenagers - Parents - A six session (over 6 weeks or 2 days) course for the parents of teenagers. Topics include: the impact of brain and hormone development, stages of child and youth development, parenting styles, managing tension points and behaviour, and talking through challenging issues.
  • Teachers - 'Getting connected' A one day program for school welfare teams from across a number of local high schools. The day is broken into: skills session with a local service provider; networking and sharing experiences; service provider panel with real life scenarios.

Products

  • Adventures of Me (Years 4-6)  is an 8 week program for students in a whole class group (or a smaller  group who have been identified as needing extra support). It can be delivered by a classroom teacher and/or community facilitators. The program aims to provide students with the opportunity to explore effective communication skills build their self esteem & self confidence, manage relationships and difficult situations.
  • Move On Up  (Year 6) is an 8 week program for Year 6 students in a whole class group (or a smaller  group who have been identified as needing extra support). It can be delivered by a classroom teacher and/or community facilitators. The program focusses on the transition  from primary to high school. It supports the child's ability to understand and resolve issues including bullying, conflict resolution, relationships, hopes and fears, dealing with anger and transition from primary to high school.

Training

Currently being developed and trialled is a training for facilitators in REALskills approaches and facilitation processes for those working in relationship and social and emotional education settings.

Funding

Current government funding is time limited and The Family Centre is seeking support to continue this important and valuable work.

The REALskills High Schools programs are currently funded by the Australian Government. Murwillumbah Primary Schools programs are funded in a Community Partnership arrangement with YWCA Murwillumbah Communities for Children funded by the Australian Government.

For further information contact The Family Centre on: 07 5524 8711