Trauma Recovery

Helping children to heal from the trauma of abuse and neglect means giving back to them something that should never have been taken away in the first place - their childhood. 

The trauma that results from experiences of abuse and neglect stays with children long after the abuse itself has stopped.

No part of their lives remains untouched by the hurt they have endured. Their sense of safety, their self-esteem and their ability to trust are all savaged. The way their brains develop can be affected. Their ability to learn, or even sit calmly in a classroom is compromised. They are often unable to form friendships. Their feelings of pain, anger and betrayal become unbearable. They blame themselves for the abuse that was never their fault, often suffering alone in shame and silence. The world makes little sense to them and their ability to function in it is diminished. 

Without specialist help and protection, trauma stays with children and can lead to a lifetime of struggle marked by depression, drug and alcohol addiction, violence, crime, mental illness or suicide.

But in the face of so much hurt and harm, there is also hope. Our approaches to helping the recovery of traumatised children and the prevention of abuse, continue to transform children’s lives for the better.

We have established highly specialised trauma teams: people who create positive relationships around children that protect them and help them to recover, and find stability and security in their lives.

Being a truly community-based organisation means our Trauma Recovery Teams work throughout Australia, including in remote and regional areas. It also means we collaborate with many other not-for-profit organisations and child-focused agencies to ensure traumatised children are given the very best chance of recovery. 

We have specialist trauma centres dedicated to recovery and healing, and have established approaches to supporting children that ensure recovery is lasting and meaningful. Our Trauma Counselling Teams use a range of different approaches including art, play and creative therapies to give children back the sense of joy, laughter and discovery that are so much a part of childhood.

Our Foster and Residential Care Trauma Team specialists take our understanding, research and knowledge of trauma into the field to support foster carers and residential care staff. They clock up thousands of kilometres a year, visiting the carers and  unit staff, as well as teachers and other professionals working with children, to help them understand trauma so they can better support children who have been abused and neglected.

Our Parenting Support Team works with vulnerable parents who are struggling to make changes in the way they are raising their children. The specialist support workers run groups and provide counselling to parents that help them focus on improving their relationships with children. Once parents understand more about what helps children develop, many of them learn to stop cycles of destructive behaviour with their children, which changes them and their family in a positive and sustained way. 

Become a Trauma Recovery Team Supporter and help children heal from the impact of abuse, neglect and family violence.


I am happy to help raise awareness of childhood abuse - to prevent the trauma!

Mish Stella

Children are our future; they are a country's most valuable asset. They are to be cherished, loved and heard - every one of them.


Talking makes things a little better in my head. I feel empowered when I finish a session.

George (not real name)

I hated counselling at first, but it helped a lot and still does. I am not as angry.

Simon, 17

I have seen this first-hand.The outcome was utterly devastating. No more children need to go through this. We need to speak up for them.


I believe children should have a childhood. They need our attention and our support - that's why I am proud to be Patron of the Foundation.

Chris Hemsworth, Patron

I'm Brazilian and I follow the Foundation's work from afar; think it's heavenly. Wish I could, one day, do what you guys do

Larissa Adur, 17

We think donating to help an abused child to get their childhood back is worthwhile.

Isabelle and family

I wish I had giant angel wings to protect all abused children & make them happy & safe ... please never give up on them.


Register your voice


The Big Tree app

We've launched a fun app, voiced by our patron Chris Hemsworth, his mum Leonie, and our ambassador Nadine Garner, to help children practice calming techniques and problem-solving skills.