EDUCATING FOR CHANGE
that pursuing knowledge and understanding, and sharing what we learn, gives children the very best chance of recovery.
" To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science." Albert Einstein, physicist
The Australian Childhood Foundation has a deeply embedded culture of learning; so that we can truly represent the needs of children, we are relentless in our pursuit of knowledge and greater understanding of the ways in which abuse and neglect cause them harm.
This is where we believe that the Australian Childhood Foundation makes a meaningful difference. We use a knowledge-sharing approach to invigorate thinking and to create change in the way traumatised children are cared for. We share with health, education and welfare professionals our understanding of the ways trauma can affect children’s developing brains and is held in the responses of their bodies.
We work to empower, support and protect children and their carers by translating that evidence base into practical, beneficial applications. We help the significant adults in traumatised children's lives to make sense of the very special needs of those children, and assist them to implement proven care strategies that effectively support children towards recovery.
The work we do is hopeful and helpful, because although the brain is most vulnerable to harm in childhood, it is also at its most pliable, and so has the greatest potential for healing.
Of the children who are referred to us at the Foundation:
52% suffer from severe anxiety
14% have had suicidal thoughts
64% have explosive anger
36% have destroyed property
27% have physically hurt another person
32% have physically hurt themselves
Understanding the nature and effect of the trauma that these children continue to experience, and knowing how to meet their needs in a therapeutic way – helping them begin to heal – can be challenging even for the most experienced of professionals working with children and families.
However, for more than seven years, the Australian Childhood Foundation has been developing and delivering professional development programs that empower, educate and inspire those working with traumatised children to look at the world through the eyes of each child, and to re-think their own responses and decision-making. Our workshops and seminars offer insight into the trauma that lies behind the behaviours, along with practical strategies for meeting the needs for healing that those behaviours represent.
We provide training to more than 7,000 Australian and international professionals in the health, welfare, education and justice systems each year, as well as to out-of-home carers including foster carers. The training and education programs are delivered through a national training calendar of workshops and seminars – generally between 60 and 70 per year in every state and territory of Australia – as well as international guest speaker tours, customised training requested by and tailored for specific organisations, and our SMART program for school-based staff.
92% of schools report that they are clearer about how to respond to traumatised children as a result of their involvement with the Foundation.