What is KidsConnect?
JAFA has long been concerned about the social isolation experienced by children with juvenile arthritis that comes through school absences, illness and physical limitations that prevent participation in sport, the playground and free social interactions with peers. Then there’s the geographic isolation of children living in regional and remote Australia. And then there was COVID, making it even harder for kids with juvenile arthritis to connect with each other.
To address these issues, JAFA introduced KidsConnect. It was piloted through JAFA’s closed Facebook group in early 2020 and then, proof of concept confirmed, JAFA was fortunate to receive a 2021 St George Community grant which enabled the recruitment of an experienced technical officer to upscale and fully implement this inclusive and innovative program.
KidsConnect is a secure online platform where 7-17 year olds with juvenile arthritis can meet and engage with each other in a safe digital space through age-appropriate chat and game resources such as Minecraft and Discord. Unhampered by distance or physical limitations, they can build peer-relationships to help them navigate issues relating to mental health, social relationships and self-esteem which often accompany a diagnosis of juvenile arthritis.
KidsConnect was soft launched in December 2021, with an official launch held on WORD Day in March 2022.
Receive a KidsConnect Welcome Pack