School Based Youth Work

The school based youth work program is aimed towards primary and secondary school students who are disengaged with any area of their school life (socially, emotionally, physically or academically). Weekly sessions delivered on site at schools combine practical and theoretical components and are founded on youth work and student welfare. Participating students are supported to find balance and meaning in all areas of their life and to apply this to their schooling also.

The program is delivered by experienced and qualified youth workers. It is written in accordance with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority General Capabilities and Sub-Elements and delivered in partnership with collaborating schools across the region.

Student engagement in learning is achieved through interactions with our highly trained dogs. This allows participants to learn the power of trust, friendship, loyalty, respect, self-confidence and unconditional love. These elements are often absent in children that struggle with their schooling or have experienced a high level of trauma in their lives.

We use challenging activities that encourage the children to move out of their comfort zones and start to examine their own behaviour and actions towards themselves and others. Values clarification activities are included in the sessions so that important decisions are already made before the children experience difficult situations down the track. This early intervention is an integral part of the BackTrack program and our proactive approach to the welfare of youth in our community.

In 2017 two more schools have come on board with this program (Armidale City Public School and Ben Venue Public School). We now cater for 5 schools across our region (the others being Drummond Memorial Public School in Armidale, Walcha Central School and Guyra Central School). The emphasis this year has been on student values and learning to communicate effectively. The dogs travel many kilometres and are the heroes in this program. As one 9 year old girl participating in the program says: “I love it when Gibson comes ‘cos he makes me feel happy”. Gibson, the only brown and white border collie on the team, is well known for being able to calm anyone down with his combination of good looks and charm!

Don't Be Shy. Get In Touch.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Backtrack, get in touch and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!