The aim of the KIT-Plus Research Project was to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a systematic pastoral care intervention designed to encourage and facilitate positive behaviour in students, particularly with regards to reducing smoking and other drug use, which was delivered by trained secondary school staff identified by students as very approachable.
The KIT-Plus Research Project was a partnership between the CHPRC and the School Drug Education and Road Aware (SDERA) located within the Department of Education, WA. The Keeping in Touch (KIT) resource, initially developed by SDERA and subsequently distributed nationally by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations assists school staff to manage and respond to drug use issues in their school. The KIT-Plus Research Project built on this existing resource by providing additional support to assist schools to build positive connections between students and staff and to help staff prevent and respond to drug issues at school. The intervention was underpinned by research showing that in addition to parental figures, other significant adults such as teachers and pastoral care staff can play an important role in reducing and preventing students’ drug use through supporting the adoption of drug harm reduction attitudes and behaviours. The project aimed to enhance the skills of school staff, increase students’ connectedness to school staff and school and ultimately to decrease students’ harm from smoking and other drug use.
The KIT-Plus Research Project was a three-year randomised control trial conducted in 21 Western Australian secondary schools (including 9 country schools). The KIT-Plus program comprised four key stages:
Data were collected from an initial cohort of 637 Year 9 students from the study schools (baseline and two post test surveys and one-on-one interviews) and 64 staff from the intervention schools (pre and post implementation surveys and 12 month logs of interactions with students about drug-related issues).
Both CHPRC and SDERA have used the findings of the KIT-Plus research project to strengthen existing programs delivered to schools to promote the health and wellbeing of young people.
For further information about this project please contact Ms Tommy Cordin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Professor Marg Hall
Ms Felicity Stephens
Dr Robyn Johnston
School Drug Education and Road Aware, WA, Mr Bruno Faletti