Balanced Choice was born out of a school holiday program that was first trialled by Adam Drake for youth in a Darwin correctional facility in July 2014. Since then, it has evolved to include working with various school groups, adult male prisoners, government departments, and other organisations.
The main focus of Balanced Choice continues to be working with young people who are at risk of offending, those who are currently in youth detention, and those who are transitioning from detention into the community.
Other activities in schools are based on working intensively with young people within an early intervention and prevention framework, using a strengths based approach, and tailoring programs to meet individual needs.
Balanced Choice has a holistic outlook on wellbeing. We believe it is essential to maintain balance of the body, mind, and spirit. Objectives include increased physical activity and fitness levels, improved sense of self-worth, enhanced emotional awareness and subjective wellbeing, better mental health literacy, practical life skills, healthier relationships with peers and family, increased self-efficacy and resilience, a positive sense of the future, and a greater sense of connection to self and others.
Participants become aware that they have a range of choices in how to respond to situations, and learn to link behaviour to outcome. They are encouraged to set goals to direct their future and achieve healthy balance in life. They learn to locate a number of pathways through which they might achieve their goals, and are empowered with the motivation to succeed. The design of the program is informed by current best practice guidelines and evidence-based research.