The Adolescent Inpatient Program is a secondary educational program for adolescent in-patients in the Austin Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Adolescent Unit. It is an integral part of the total program for inpatients providing an opportunity for adolescents to continue their schooling by participating in a relevant and meaningful program.
The timetable includes: classroom sessions for an hour in the morning and two hours in the afternoon on three days a week, a day with an excursion and a specialist art session and a half day, with an art session. Students are aged from 13 to 17 and the length of stay of young people in the Adolescent Unit varies from a day to several months. Also a young person’s ability to attend may fluctuate from session to session. Hence the membership of the group varies daily. In addition to the wide range of mental health conditions which bring young people to the unit, many have experienced educational, social and emotional problems at school. Further, students come from a range of educational settings including alternative, government and non-government mainstream, TAFE and special school. The school also services young people who are not attending an educational setting. As such, the program is flexible and responsive to individual needs and the curriculum needs to be adjusted daily to meet the capacity of the group. Aiming to facilitate student transition back to education or vocation, the priority of the program is for young people to be engaged in a meaningful and positive educational experience. Development of an individual learning plan for each student coordinated with the multidisciplinary clinical team so that the educational goals complement clinical goals.
The AIP program consists of several components. These include group activities, individual negotiated projects, art, music therapy, excursions and the adolescent Health Program. The curriculum delivered within these components is informed by the aims of the school and the program and by AusVELS that promotes these aims. Specifically the program focuses on the AusVELS domains of Personal Learning, Interpersonal Development, English, Communication, Thinking, Civics and Citizenship, Health and Physical education and Design, Creativity and Technology. Students completing individual negotiated projects frequently work across a variety of discipline based areas. VCE support is provided in coordination with a student’s mainstream school. A proactive approach is taken to incorporating ICT across all aspects of the program.
Art work in AIP classroom: