Research unveiled at the International Childhood Trauma Conference shows value of play to support children impacted by trauma.
One in five Australian kids experience some form of abuse or trauma each year.
A world first Australian expressive therapy program targeting children impacted by trauma, has been hailed a ground breaking success, with a Cost Benefit Analysis Report released this week showing the program run by KidsXpress delivered $2.8m in value to society in 2015 and untold value to the children it supports.
The Deloitte Access Economics Cost Benefit Analysis Report, is the first ever Cost Benefit Analysis of expressive therapy (music, art, drama and play therapy) as a means for dealing with childhood stress and trauma. It revealed that every $1 invested in KidsXpress childhood therapy generated almost $3 in benefits to society including improving quality of life while reducing medical practitioner, pharmaceutical and other costs.
Speaking today at the International Childhood Trauma Conference in Melbourne, Dr Ben Rockett, Research Manager at KidsXpress commented, “Expressive therapies are effective perhaps more so than conventional talking methods, in helping children who have experienced traumatic or overwhelming stressful events. Dealing with issues when kids are still kids is the best option to give them a better chance at developing relational capabilities and overcoming future challenges. With early intervention and the transformative power of our programs, our goal is to build a generation of healthier, happier, more resilient adults.”
Founder and CEO of KidsXpress, Margo Ward commented: “Childhood trauma has a profound effect in the Australian community with one in five children facing significant trauma, abuse or neglect in Australia this year. The long term effects of childhood trauma are often the most visible: broken relationships and families, violence, abuse and neglect, homelessness, drug and alcohol dependence, mental illness, and unemployment. Our aim is that our program will help transform young lives.”
Cost Benefit Analysis
The cost-benefit analysis revealed the impact of every dollar invested in childhood therapy and what this avoids in costs to society, in terms of medical practitioner costs, pharmaceutical costs and other costs associated with the burden of mental illness and reduced quality of life.
The results showed that KidsXpress:
- Decreased the number of visits to GPs, psychologists and psychiatrists resulting in cost decreases of 42.6%, 36.8% and 36.6%, respectively
- Improved quality of life in each child by an average of 49.6%.
The Report follows a Report released last year by Adults Surviving Child Abuse which found that the economic impact of unresolved childhood trauma in Australian adults was $9.1 billion annually.
Founded in 2005, KidsXpress first opened its doors in 2006 and it seeks to reduce the personal, social and financial burdens of the childhood experiences of trauma through an innovative and accredited expressive therapy interaction program for children aged 4-14 years. More than 2000 children have been through the program. KidsXpress’ core therapy program is run by highly skilled, expert therapists in small groups from its headquarters in Sydney’s Moore Park as well as through a Western Sydney Outreach program.