With school holidays now behind us, the reality of getting back to the grind for many families has been front and centre this week with school resuming. Many of our group programs align to school terms, which means as well as our normal individual support services, we're kicking off our Term 1 schedule with our group programs.

Our Playgroups are back next week (both from Monday, 3rd February 2020) with both Koori Kids Playgroup and our Supported Playgroup resuming for Term 1. 

Koori Kids is our culturally sensitive playgroup for Indigenous families, and operates from Menai District Youth Centre, at 34-42 Allison Crescent Menai on Mondays during school term from 10:30am - 12:30pm. This group is a wonderful experience for Aboriginal families or those wishing to introduce Aboriginal culture to their pre-school aged children. There is time to play and time to yarn, paint, throw a ball and sing together. The variety of both indoor and outdoor educational play experiences give babies and preschoolers a wonderful opportunity to learn in a social setting, while parents have an opportunity to share their own experiences within a culturally sensitive environment. Morning tea is provided.

Our Supported Playgroup at Jannali operates in the purpose build childcare centre at 90 Soldiers Road Jannali on Mondays during school term from 10am to Midday and aims to support pre-school aged children and their carer's with a safe, predictable, nurturing environment, facilitating a positive attachment between carer and child with shared activities that are enjoyable for all. There are three SSFS employees who facilitate the playgroup with extensive skills and qualifications including mothercraft, childcare and family therapy. These facilitators model and mirror positive interactions between primary carers and their child, to assist in relationship building through play.

Our Little Koori Thinkers program is an Indigenous Homework Group established to provide educational support to infants and primary school aged Aboriginal Children. Resuming on 12th February, the group runs on Wednesdays from 3:45pm to 5pm in the "Library" at our Jannali Office (90 Soldiers Road Jannali). These sessions, staffed by qualified Youth Workers, provide support and assistance to young kids who may need some assistance in developing good school habits such as reading, writing and homework activities. All essential materials are provided, along with a healthy afternoon tea to boost children's energy and facilitate their learning.

Our featured parenting program for the term is our Circle of Security Parenting Program. This commences on Thursday 13th February and runs for 8 weeks at our Jannali Centre, from 10:30am - 12:30pm. Circle of Security is a relationship program designed to strengthen the parent/ caregiver relationship through enhancing attachment security. It is an evidence based program that helps parents/ caregivers recognise new ways to understand their child’s needs and behaviours, and learn effective ways to connect with their child. It enhances a child’s sense of security, self-esteem and parent-child relationship. This is a free program delivered by SSFS' qualified staff. If you are interested in attending this program, please call us on (02) 9528 2933.

We also have two of our Domestic Violence Support programs running in Term 1, with our Pathway for Change Support Group commencing on 12th February. This runs on Wednesdays for 6 weeks at our Jannali location. This free, 6 week education and support group is designed to provide a safe and nurturing space for women to understand the complexity of Domestic Violence and reduce the social isolation of their experience. Through the lived and shared experiences of women and their children, the group allows women to build on their strengths to keep themselves and their children safe. 

This term, we are also running our Art Therapy classes on Tuesday mornings at Jannali from 11th February from 12:30pm - 2:30pm. Art Therapy is a great way to express emotions and facilitate healing from trauma. The themes of this group focus on strengthening intellectual and intuitive responses, building confidence and insight.

If you're interested in any of our group programs, please call our office on (02) 9528 2933. All our Group Support Programs are free to attend for participants.  You can self-refer to our service at any time if you or your family are facing any issues which may require additional support.