DRUMBEAT: Talking Drums, Resilient Kids

DRUMBEAT: Talking Drums, Resilient Kids

8 April 2015

We speak to Sulabha Pawar about the DRUMBEAT program for alienated or at-risk children, which is listed in the CfC programme profiles.

Fairfield’s Communities for Children (CfC) Facilitating Partner The Smith Family, funded Anglicare NSW in 2013 to deliver DRUMBEAT, an evidence-based program currently listed in the CfC evidence-based programme profiles.

DRUMBEAT is a music-based program that explores healthy and supportive relationships, emphasising teamwork and cooperation. DRUMBEAT is designed for alienated or at-risk children but can also be adapted to meet the needs of different groups. The program combines learning with cognitive behaviour therapy, and engages children who may be resistant to "talk based" therapies. Exposure to music and participation in a team drumming experience has been shown to positively affect children by improving self-esteem and levels of cooperation, and decreasing antisocial behaviour.

"Talking Drums – Resilient Kids" is the adaptation of DRUMBEAT delivered by Anglicare NSW. We recently spoke to Sulabha Pawar, Manager of Government and Community Projects with the Smith Family, about choosing, adapting and delivering DRUMBEAT in the Fairfield Community.

Why was DRUMBEAT selected?

Through a targeted tender process, Anglicare NSW was funded to deliver the Kids Resilience Project, which addressed two key strategies from the Fairfield Community Strategic Plan 2012-1014. The project is currently delivered as a wraparound service, in which DRUMBEAT is one component.

The DRUMBEAT program, re-named "Talking Drums – Resilient Kids", aims to meet specific community needs such as working well with CALD communities. In addition, the early intervention program supports children by addressing social issues such as peer pressure; bullying; social responsibility; dealing with and regulating emotions; communication skills; identity and building resilience; and an understanding for diversity.

How was the program delivered?

"Talking Drums – Resilient Kids" maintains high fidelity of DRUMBEAT and is delivered within Fairfield schools, in a therapeutic group setting by two highly skilled counsellors. Targeted at children aged 6-12 years, each week the group enjoys hand drumming while exploring different topics such as values; self-awareness; peer pressure; managing conflict; communication skills; healthy friendships; and external resilience factors.

Designed with a holistic approach, the Fairfield project also delivers workshops to parents and teachers who work in partnership to achieve the best outcomes for children. For example, parents/carers are provided with information and tools to support their children’s development, and connect families to supportive networks and services. The DRUMBEAT program is also focused on developing the capacity of workers within children’s learning environments.

What were the program outcomes?

No formal evaluation of the project has been conducted. However, the Smith Family had clearly articulated performance indicators - both process and impact - that helped monitor the project deliverables, alignment with the intended strategy, and contribution to the CfC Objectives.


Find out more about DRUMBEAT.

Find out more about the CfC evidence-based programme profiles.

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