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Ascham Joins The Best of Friends

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Posted on by Zoe Barnes

We are excited to welcome Ascham School as a program facilitator of The Best of Friends® program in Edgecliff, New South Wales.

The Best of Friends® is a multi-award winning Social and Emotional Learning program developed by The Quirky Kid Clinic and is now used by over 18 schools and agencies around Australia. 

About Ascham School

Ascham School is an independent, non-denominational, day and boarding school for girls. The school’s teaching philosophy mirrors that of the Dalton Plan and focuses on four key principles — collaboration, responsibility, reflection and independence. Ascham school seeks to build resilience in its students by helping each girl develop the confidence to stretch herself and stumble, believing that self-confidence comes from effort leading to real achievement and that learning to bounce back from setbacks is an integral part of this process.

Ascham School believes girls’ wellbeing is of paramount importance and integral to the learning process demonstrating a clear commitment to Social and Emotional Learning. We were impressed with their passion and commitment and are looking forward to working with their team to deliver their first program to fourteen years, 7 boarders, during Term 2. 

How The Best of Friends® program will be implemented at Ascham School.

The first 10-week group of The Best of Friends® program will take place in Term 2 2020 and will be closely supported by our team of facilitators. Each participant receives a copy of the exclusive workbook developed by Quirky Kid, while facilitators and parents have access to an extensive range of information, manuals and regular supervision as required. 

To ensure adequate evaluation, each individual child and group complete pre- and post- psychometric testing of their social and emotional skills to measure the outcome of the intervention. Evaluation and monitoring is an important component of The Best of Friends® program.

We look forward to working closely with Ascham School! 

Interested in offering The Best of Friends® program at your school?

Ascham School is one of 18 other schools/clinics offering our programs around Australia. Our Social and Emotional programs are a cost-effective and evidence-based intervention which improves children’s social and emotional wellbeing. 

The program has a comprehensive implementation, evaluation and monitoring plan, and we are keen to identify partners equally committed to Social and Emotional Learning.

We continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative programs and resources that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe.Contact us or visit the program website to find out more about The Best of Friends® program, and how it can help you meet the needs of your students or clients.

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Service Update: COVID-19

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Service Update: Welcome Sarah Doyle and Michal Fisher

By now, everyone has made some adjustments to their routines and lives due to COVID-19 and it is no different at Quirky Kid. Below are some important updates from our team.

The key takeaway is that we are still
here to support you and your family during this period while playing our part to stop the spread of the virus.

In line with the latest advice from the Australian Government, we are reducing our face-to-face interactions, as appropriate. Please check often as this post will be updated with more information as it becomes available,

Online Support

We have been providing online consultations for many years already. In fact, Quirky Kid started offering phone and online services in 2007 when we launched our first website from Darwin. For us, Telehealth feels like a walk in the park.

If you prefer to complete your sessions by phone or video, ask our reception and we’ll arrange it for you.

We also have a weekly online Lunch and Learn session with Quirky Kid Psychologist to help parents support Children’s wellbeing during COVID-19.

Support to Schools

We have adjusted some of our programs and service deliveries to support schools in maintaining the wellbeing of their students. These initiatives include supporting schools with counselling for students in need and adapting some of our programs for online delivery. Schools can engage us in:

  • Delivering The Best of Friends and Basecamp as an online program. Our team of facilitators will host weekly sessions at set times to groups of students. Participants will receive a copy of the Program workbook and attend sessions with trained facilitators.
  • Access The Power Up program to support high achieving students with reduced bulk purchases of licenses.

Reducing our Fees

The Australian government has announced new medicare item to ensure healthcare can be delivered to all Australians during this time. Quirky Kid has also take initiative to support families. For a limited period, will reduce the cost of online consultations and some of the other individual services to provide our clients and community can continue to access support for their families, during the next 2 months.

There has been some changes to Medicare with clients in some circumstances being eligible for bulk-billing rates on the new telehealth items.We are not a bulk-billing service but will update our policies to offer options to clients significantly impacted by COVID-19.

Hours of Operation

We are reducing our hours of operation for the safety of our team. From April 2020, our clinics will be open to clients on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday only from 9.30-6.00pm.

During these hours, we have new guidelines to reduce the risk of COVID19. You can read all the details at our Help Centre. These initiatives include:

  • All parent sessions to be conducted online or by phone.
  • Our waiting rooms are closed. Please drop-off and pick-up only. Your psychologist can provide feedback in a separate parent session.
  • Phone and email support from QK reception is available.
  • Hygiene practices of the highest standard are our new normal.

More Information 

In addition, Quirky Kid is following the guidance of the World Health Organisation and The Australian Psychological Society for further updates. 

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides reliable information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) such as its symptoms, steps you can take to protect yourself, and what to do if you are affected.
  • Australian Government Department of Health: The Department of Health has developed a collection of resources for the general public, health professionals and industry about coronavirus (COVID-19), including translated resources.

We appreciate your understanding as we seek to avoid any unnecessary risks to the health of our Quirky community, our homes, housemates, families and everyone in between. Thank you for your continued support.

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Siblings! by Quirky Kid

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Cover of Book Siblings

“There are two sides to every story,” so the saying goes. Quirky Kid’s new release, Siblings! explores this old adage with a fresh twist. Siblings! is a witty and imaginative picture book about the ups and downs of brothers and sisters.

Having a brother or sister can be a challenge! There’s a tendency to focus on what bothers us instead of what comforts us, especially when it comes to our siblings. They complain, make fun of us, or ignore us completely; try as we might, sometimes there’s just no escaping them! Why do they have to be so exhausting? But then, at other times, they make us laugh, they share their snacks, and they keep us company. What if their presence was a positive thing instead of a problem? Maybe our siblings aren’t so bad after all…

The story is supported by a playful design and spirited illustrations by Rocio Bonilla. The book literally unfolds in two parts to reveal how rivalry frequently masks a deeper appreciation and affection for one another.

Siblings! is a witty and imaginative picture book
about the ups and downs of brothers and sisters.

Siblings! examines a complicated relationship that distils its essence into charming bite-sized portions of gratitude for kids to consider through humour and unique perspectives. It allows children to recognise the deep admiration behind another’s motives and that the lines between siblings are often that which can bring them closer.

Siblings! is the perfect prop for parents and an additional tool for professionals working with children to help build better relationships between siblings and explore home politics. Simple, easy to read and beautifully illustrated. Bring your family closer together with Siblings!

Available now as a hardcover edition for only $25.99

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Quirky Kid and University of Wollongong Collaboration Launch

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Posted on by Zoe Barnes

The Best of Friends® Industry Research Collaboration

The Quirky Kid® Clinic’s collaboration with the University of Wollongong provided the evidence base to scale the innovative The Best of Friends® program

The Quirky Kid Team and The University of Wollongong’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Professor Jennifer Martin would like to invite you to a presentation of the industry research collaboration between Quirky Kid® and the University of Wollongong (UOW) on The Best of Friends® program.

This event will provide you with an expanding small business’s perspective on collaborating with a university as an effective innovation pathway. You will learn how Quirky Kid leveraged their innovation spend through various programs – including Tech Vouchers, Internships and UOW’s incubator iAccelerate – to maximise impact.

The Best of Friends® program was developed in response to increasing demand from schools to address the social and emotional learning (SEL) challenges that children experience, and to offer them the academic and social benefits that SEL provides.

The research conducted by Quirky Kid® and the University of Wollongong added to the growing evidence of the efficacy of The Best of Friends® program, which Quirky Kid®  was then able to use to scale their product so their expertise could benefit kids in schools not only across Australia but around the world.

Representatives from Quirky Kid, the University of Wollongong, and NSW Government’s Boosting Business Innovation Programs will be on hand to answer your questions and get you started on your own innovation journey.

Friday 9 August, 9:30am-12:00pm
Level 49, MLC Centre  (19 Martin Place, Sydney)

9:30-10:00am Showcase demonstrations and networking
10:00-11:15am –  Presentation and Q&A:

  • Innovation in Social Emotional Learning – Dr. Kimberley O’Brien (Quirky Kid)
  • Collaborating with UOW –  Zahra Shahbazian, Industry Research Manager (UOW)
  • Leveraging your innovation spend  –  Leo Rocker (Quirky Kid)

11:15am-12:00pm: Networking and light refreshments



About Quirky Kid

We’re one of Australia’s leading Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology Clinics and passionately committed to providing clients with the highest standard of service delivery. Quirky Kid is a member of the University of Wollongong business incubator program, ‘iAccelerate’. We operate clinical spaces in Sydney and Austinmer with a new clinic opening soon in Canberra.

You may also know of Quirky Kid as an award-winning publisher of unique therapeutic resources for young people and families. These include Face it cards, Tell Me A Story cards and the popular programs, Power Up™, The Best of Friends® and BaseCamp which are used in schools around Australia and overseas.

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We’re Growing Up

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Australian child psychology services provider and publisher Quirky Kid is growing up, receiving significant federal and state government support to take its strategies for tackling children’s mental health issues to Australia and the world.

Quirky Kid has been named among the first seven successful recipients of a grant from the Department of Social Services (DSS)  $7 million Sector Readiness Fund (SRF), managed through Impact Investing Australia’s Growth Grant.

Quirky Kid, founded by the visionary duo Dr Kimberley O’Brien and Leonardo Rocker, is a provider of mental health services for children, as well as educational publishing services, products and software.

The $130,000 grant from the SRF will be used to engage Social Impact Hub’s services to help Quirky Kid become impact investment ready, including working with Quirky Kid to deliver impact assessment and a capital raise by July 2020.

Earlier this year, Quirky Kid was selected to join two International immersion programs, the Dubai EdTech Bootcamp organised by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and the India Entrepreneurs International Bootcamp funded by the NSW Government and led by the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship.

Quirky Kid also exhibited at the world’s largest trade fair for children’s literature and creative content, The Bologna Book Fair in Italy.

Last year, Quirky Kid received two prestigious nominations at The London Book Fair, winning the Best Educational Initiative Award for Basecamp®, an educational program designed to support children to manage anxiety. Basecamp® has also received two other local awards and nominations, such as Best Designed Educational Primary / Secondary Book at the Australia Book Designer Awards.

The SRF aims to change the way Australia addresses social issues by investing in growing enterprises delivering positive social outcomes. In announcing the SRF grantees on 17 May 2019 (former) Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher MP said: “The seven social impact investment organisations [have] demonstrated growth potential to deliver positive social outcomes.”

“Social impact investments can be a game changer in the approach to some serious and entrenched social issues and the Sector Readiness Fund forms part of the Government’s commitment to tackling disadvantage through innovative financing models,” Mr Fletcher has said.

Quirky Kid, described by the Sydney Morning Herald as a “quiet Australian success story, used by thousands of organisations around the world” link to report, has been diligently delivering innovative products and solutions for schools and families, such as a new online application to support parents and professionals called BriteChild (see https://britechild.com).

Quirky Kid is a resident at The University of Wollongong incubator, iAccelerate, which is committed to helping social entrepreneurs deliver meaningful impact.

Quirky Kid has taken an innovative idea to deliver mental health services for children and are building a thriving business with a social conscience. We look forward to continuing to support them further on their journey,” iAccelerate CEO Omar Khalifa said.

Dr O’Brien and Mr Rocker said: “Since 2016, we have engaged an incredible team to make sure we can raise the necessary capital to escalate our impact and commercial success. Our ambition is to continue to scale without compromising our impact”

Quirky Kid is due to open a third clinic in Canberra at the end of 2019.

Founder and Director of the Social Impact Hub, Jessica Roth and her team are delighted to be working with Quirky Kid. According to Jessica: “Impact investment will help Quirky Kid scale its business, to deliver its quality programs to more kids and families, leading to improved wellbeing and outcomes for many, as well as generate financial returns for impact investors. The Social Impact Hub is committed to supporting purpose-driven businesses as they scale, and we are thrilled to have won an Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant to work with Quirky Kid.”

Sabina Curatolo, Director of Social Enterprise Development at IIA added “raising capital to grow these for-purpose businesses often requires new skills and advice that these change-making entrepreneurs would not already have. The grants from this new fund enable successful applicants to seek this specialist advice from intermediaries, enabling their businesses to grow and increase their impact. In this way, we are also encouraging growth in intermediaries which is key to effectively growing the impact investment eco-system.”



About Quirky Kid

We’re one of Australia’s leading Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology Clinics and passionately committed to providing clients with the highest standard of service delivery. Quirky Kid is a member of the University of Wollongong business incubator program, ‘iAccelerate’. We operate clinical spaces in Sydney and Austinmer with a new clinic opening soon in Canberra.

You may also know of Quirky Kid as an award-winning publisher of unique therapeutic resources for young people and families. These include Face it cards, Tell Me A Story cards and the popular programs, Power Up™, The Best of Friends® and BaseCamp which are used in schools around Australia and overseas.

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