NameSeasons for Growth
Target AudienceMiddle childhood (6-12 years)
CfC ObjectiveEarly learning
OrganisationGood Grief, MacKillop Family Services
Delivery SettingSchool-based; community-based
DescriptionAn education program that builds the resilience and wellbeing of children who have recently experienced loss due to death, family separation or migration. Seasons for Growth aims to support young people to understand their feelings, help them develop skills for coping, restore self-confidence and educate them about the grief process. The program is underpinned by evidence about resilience, emotional competence and identity. A version of the program called Stormbirds is also available for children affected by natural disasters.
Delivered toChildren aged 6 – 18 who have experienced family loss or change.
Delivered byTeachers, social workers, counselors, psychologists other professionals/para-professionals and volunteers endorsed by a school or agency.
Program Structure

Seasons for Growth is delivered to small groups of 4-7 children and facilitated by an adult ‘companion’. The program has four age levels: 6-8 years, 9-10 years, 11-12 years, and 13-18 years.


The program is offered over 8x40-50 minute sessions plus a celebration and reconnector session (held 6-8 weeks after completion). The structure of the program is based on the metaphor of four seasons reflecting Worden’s four stages of grief (2009).


Each session has a specific focus and session outcomes incorporate discussion, stories, drawing, role-play and guided meditation.


Stormbirds: Good Grief also offers an adaptation of Seasons of Growth called Stormbirds. Stormbirds supports children and young people to adapt to experiences of change, loss and grief resulting from natural disasters. The program is delivered over four sessions to small groups of children aged 6-14 years old. Visit the Good Grief website for more information.


Participation in facilitator (‘companion’) training is required. Two day training workshops are held regularly across Australia:


A detailed facilitator manual and workbooks with structured session plans are available.

  • Seasons for Growth online training (includes program manual): $750
  • Seasons for Growth face to face training: $850
  • Stormbirds training: price on application
ContactPhone: 1300 379 569
Email: [email protected]
Evaluation and effectiveness

The Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University conducted an empowerment and participatory evaluation of the program in 2011 (Newell & Moss, 2011). Pre and post qualitative survey data was collected from across 57 Seasons for Growth groups in Australia, New Zealand and Scotland. The study included 239 children, 30 parents and 44 facilitators.


Responses from all groups (children, parents, companions) were positive with parent responses corroborating children’s views. Children reported very high levels of satisfaction and felt they could trust the group companion, felt supported, and felt they were able to safely express themselves. The majority of children and parents nominated a variety of ways that the program had helped them including: