I like, like you is an early intervention relationships program that promotes the connection between healthy intimate relationships, and emotional health and wellbeing. With a strong emphasis on violence prevention and mental health promotion, the whole of school program introduces adolescents to the knowledge, practical skills and attitudes that promote healthy, equitable and respectful relationships. I like, like you is a three- to four-week program of Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) for high school students.
One of the differentiating aspects of the I like, like you program from other relationship education programs is the inclusion of program aims in addition to curriculum aims. I like, like you aims to provide a more integrated support service through strong partnerships between schools, health and community agencies, families and young people. The program helps to identify and prevent unhealthy relationships, family violence and mental health issues.
Students focus on how we experience ourselves and our relationships, what our bodies can reveal about our emotions, how our thoughts can influence our actions, and how ideas and beliefs can influence our identity. By learning how to have a better relationship with ourselves, we can learn how to have a better relationship with people who are close to us.
As part of the program, young people integrate their experience of the program by developing their own promotions tool using a mixed media method. In small groups, students are encouraged to write a story, song or dance, develop a video or poster or perform a role-play to be shared in the final session of the program. The development of the promotions tool gives young people an opportunity to think about where they stand with the knowledge of the program’s content, to integrate the material into their own language and culture, and to create a group process where they have to discuss the material from their own standpoint.
Through our centre-based family violence work, RAV identifies primary and high schools in disadvantaged areas where high levels of family violence are present. Through its facilitation of I like, like you, we use a whole school approach with the administration and school support staff to identify children, young people and their families who are at risk, or who are already living in families that are unsafe.
Our program facilitators and school teachers are trained to be able to identify signs of abuse and arrange referrals to other RAV programs.
The programs are being provided in disadvantaged schools such as those in low income areas or located within growth corridor areas, where established resources may be lacking.
RAV has recently completed an outcomes evaluation of I like, like you. Preliminary results indicate that teachers and students report positive outcomes in relation to new knowledge and skills that students feel confident they can use in the future. These include an awareness of their feelings, understanding of good communication and ability to repair difficulties in relationships.
I like, like you: A healthy relationships program for primary schools is a preventative initiative developed by RAV. It utilises a whole school approach to promote the connection between healthy relationships and emotional health and wellbeing. The three-week program is an adaptation of RAV’s successful and popular secondary school program, I like, like you: A healthy intimate relationships program for schools.
Using a mixture of activities, games, and experiential exercises, the program focuses on the following themes:
This program is designed to help children to develop healthy relationships with their friends, siblings, teachers, neighbours and parents. We believe that relationships involve three key parts…. a ME, a YOU and a US. In order to have a healthy relationship, we believe that all three parts need to be looked after.
RAV’s I like, like you programs are run by trained facilitators experienced in working with children, adolescents and families with training in social work, psychology and family and couple therapy. All RAV facilitators are required to have completed Police Checks and Working with Children Checks.
The I like, like you program’s strength lies in its flexibility. Its core idea in respect to the connection between emotional health and healthy relationships can be adapted to many age groups, developmental family stages and communities. The program has been adapted for adolescents between 13-18 years; upper primary school students; students with a mild intellectual disability; young people with an indigenous background and students who live in out of home care. The core ideas of I like, like you will also be developed for post-natal parents, and couples and young adults who have a mild intellectual disability.
For more information about our I like, like you or I like, like you UP programs, including how they can be customised to meet the needs of your school and students, contact Liz Palamara, Child and Parenting Groups Coordinator by email or call (03) 8573 2222.