PO Box 1593. Neutral Bay. NSW. 2089 info@chainreaction.org.au (02) 9953 3287

Older Adolescents Program

Bridging the Gap

Think back to when you were an adolescent. For some, this is perhaps only a few years; for others it is maybe a little longer. How did you feel about being a teenager then?

It is difficult to avoid the trying experiences of adolescence. It is a time of great change, both inwardly and outwardly, both physically and psychologically. Because of this, adolescence can be a stormy sea which can prove difficult to navigate at times. All the more so when living in considerable disadvantage.

Everyone is different. Some may be able to chart their own course through this difficult terrain, while others may rely upon the support of family, a friendship group, or a particularly good teacher or social worker. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky; not everyone has this level of support to fall back on.

It Goes To Reputation

The trouble is, teenagers are not particularly well-thought of in society. The media presents us with plenty of stories of teenagers turning to crime or drugs, and the conclusion is usually the same; these are bad eggs, look at how they behave.

But is this fair? There can be no effect without cause, so what is it which takes some teens on a slippery slope? The chain of events which take people there – and the societal implications of simply turning our backs on troubled kids – are rarely explored, but they need to be.

Support Structures

No one deserves to be left behind especially in extreme neglect. No one deserves to experience a serious lack of support – and a lack of basic compassion and understanding – especially not at such a critical stage in their development. This is why the team at Chain Reaction deliver special care and encouragement to teenagers at risk of permanent exclusion from society.

We operate our Older Adolescent Program for behavioural change to give teenagers the foundation they need to take the next steps towards a positive adult life. Removing support and dealing out punishment and exclusion from society is simply counterproductive and leads to major problems further down the track.

Breaking the Cycle

The idea, here, is not to propagate a cycle of listlessness and disconnection, but to re-engage older adolescents in the society that they often feel set apart from. We work to improve self-awareness, self-esteem and a sense of belonging and confidence as well as valuing a place in the wider community. A socially engaged person is happier, more optimistic, and one who is ready to give back to the community. We also assist in practical aspects of growing up – including developing literacy and numeracy, interview skills, gaining vital qualifications, conflict resolution and anger management.

Senior researchers from the Western Sydney University recently spent six months working with us, researching and evaluating the value of our programs for families and for the wider community. Their findings were impressive; they concluded that we deliver a high quality level of social and emotional literacy to our participants, as well as highly successful skills for developing self-awareness and self-esteem. The researchers also found that our participants find a renewed sense of purpose, an understanding of giving and receiving immeasurable lifelong learning skills in building social cohesion, and a readiness to continue on track towards a fulfilled adulthood.


Margaret Bell, AM – Founder, Chain Reaction Foundation.


Your small donation helps us keep this program going


Older Adolescents Program

$12 of $30,000 raised

We are assisting participants to become active in school life, to see a point in going to school and even enabling them to become school leaders now and community leaders in the future. With your help, Chain Reaction Foundation can raise the $30,000 required to continue providing this program over 4 terms during the school year for disadvantaged teenagers.


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Donation Total: $25.00