Kids as Catalyst

Kids as Catalyst: Evaluating a child-led social action program promoting child and youth resilience and mental wellbeing


This research aims to evaluate the Kids as Catalyst program being run by Kids Thrive at eight different primary schools across Victoria

Project Summary

Kids as Catalyst is a radical, innovative, child-led social change program that engages upper primary school students to discover and connect with their personal values to then conceive, design and implement real-life social change projects that benefit their local communities. Children are supported to connect with leaders and groups in their local community to ‘pitch’ for funding, manage and develop finances and develop and deliver community projects. The aim of this project is to promote resilience in young children by providing an opportunity for children to demonstrate their capacity for driving social change, as well as increasing children’s capacity for empathy and action, elevating their own and others recognition of their role within the community.

Our evaluation seeks to understand the impact of children participating in the Kids as Catalyst program: the feasibility and acceptability of the program, whether it increases children’s resilience and sense of agency and whether the program has resulted in child-led social change. The proposed research will be used to improve current programs and develop new programs focused on positive mental health and building the resilience of children and young people in schools.


VicHealth Innovation Grant

Project Team

  • A/Prof Lisa Gibbs
    A/Prof Lisa Gibbs, Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program
  • Dr Elise Davis
    Dr Elise Davis, Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program
  • Dr Karen Block
    Dr Karen Block, Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program
  • Dana Young
    Dana Young, Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program
  • Hannah Morrice
    Hannah Morrice, Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program



Contact Name
Hannah Morrice