Social skills give us the ability to communicate and interact with others, both verbally and non-verbally. Humans are very social creatures and it is important that we are able to socialise with others appropriately in order to have positive interactions and develop friendships. When problems between people arise, as they inevitably do, social and emotional skills allow us to work through the problem and find a solution.
Some people develop social skills naturally throughout their life while others find social interactions to be extremely difficult. For people who have difficulty with social skills, a formal or informal intervention strategy can be helpful.
Hand in Hand is an informal social skills program where children and young people who struggle with social skills can practise interacting with others in a fun and informal way. Facilitators model appropriate social skills and make suggestions to participants on ways they may initiate and sustain social interactions. When errors are made, facilitators help participants to work through the difficulty as they develop empathy and communication skills.
Best of FriendsTM is a formal social and emotional learning program where a small group of children are explicitly taught appropriate ways to interact with others. The program uses a specially designed story and accompanying activities to help children recognise, develop and practise social and emotional skills.