Much of our work centres on our understanding of the ways trauma can impact on every aspect of children’s lives, and using that knowledge to support their recovery.
Children who need the support of the Foundation are often seen as a list of problem behaviours that need to be ‘fixed’.
Bedwetting, shocking nightmares, violence, aggression, withdrawal, hoarding food, running away, disrupting classes, inability to concentrate, low academic engagement and achievement, difficulties in making friends are just a few of the very challenging behaviours of traumatised children.
Our Trauma Training Team teaches professionals working with these children to see the child underneath and to understand that the behaviours are not who the child is; rather, they are symptoms of their trauma. They are reflections of their constant terror, of what they needed to do to survive their abuse, and of their desperate need to be safe and to be helped to feel safe.
These behaviours are the result of how the trauma of their experiences has affected children’s developing brains, and their bodies’ response to that. Knowledge around this is called the neurobiology of trauma. It is a cutting-edge field of science and knowledge that has aided the development of much more effective approaches to supporting the recovery of traumatised children, because we now have a better understanding of their needs and how to meet them.
Each year, our team provides training to around 8,000 family support, education, medical, police and criminal justice system professionals, as well as residential and foster carers, to help them use this understanding - translated into practical, helpful ideas and approaches - with the children in their care.
What this means for those carers and professionals is that they regularly report feeling inspired, empowered, reinvigorated and much more confident and empathetic in their approach to the care of traumatised children.
What this means for the children is that they are seen for who they really are - not as a list of ‘problems’. Their voices are more clearly heard, their needs are better met, and their care and support towards recovery is much more helpful and hopeful.
Our Trauma Training Teams offers a wide range of professionals training opportunities, including:
Seminars and workshops
Each year, we develop a training calendar of one- or two-day training seminars to be delivered in each state and territory. The calendar is structured to make it as easy as possible for carers and professionals to choose the appropriate seminars to enhance their knowledge and practice skills.
SMART (Strategies for Managing Abuse-Related Trauma)
Often, educators are the most consistent adults in the lives of children and young people who are struggling at school as a result of their trauma. This gives them the opportunity to support and promote healing through the way they develop relationships, through the way they engage children and young people in their learning, and through effective intervention in the education environment.
Our SMART programs provide support and consultancy for educational staff working with traumatised children and young people, through tailored packages for schools and through our work transforming school communities around Australia including indigenous, remote, refugee, disability and youth justice groups.
If you are a professional and would like to know more about education and training programs, click here.
To donate to support the work of our Trauma Training Team, click here.