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Trauma Informed Practice

Defining what we mean by Trauma

Trauma refers to experiences that cause intense physical and pyschological stress reactions. This may be from a single event, multiple events or a set of circumstances experienced by an individualas physically and emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse affects on the individuals physical, social and emotional, or spiritual wellbeing.

(Adapted from SAMSHA 2014)

To read more about trauma please visit www.samhsa.gov/search_results?k=trauma 


What is Trauma Informed Practice?

Trauma Informed Practice is a way of increasing the understanding of trauma and its impact through supporting development of skills and knowledge throughout the workforce. Trauma Informed Practice also recognises the correlation between trauma and poorer outcomes which may be caused by the direct impact of the trauma, the impact of the trauma on a person’s coping response or the impact of the trauma on a person’s relationships with others.


Benefits of Trauma Informed Practice

There are a number of benefits of working in a trauma informed way for staff, organisations and also the service users:

  • Support the identification of need and lead to improved outcomes for those affected by trauma (staff and service users/clients)
  • Knowledge and application of a trauma informed lens
  • Understanding the ethos: what has happened?
  • Building relationships and promoting skills in self-regulation
  • Early intervention to support and help - bridging the gap through understanding of learning and behaviour
  • Implications for positive outcomes for children and young people
  • Wider implications for staff and service user wellbeing


Trauma Informed Practice Training Resources 

The Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland has been working with partners over the last two years to share best practice of the trauma senstive services that continue to support our services users and to implement a consistent suite of trauma informed practice training resources across the Northern Ireland workforce of health, social care, justice, education, community and voluntary sector and many more. These training resources will raise awareness of the impact of childhood adversity physically, behaviourally and emotionally. It will also provide staff with some key resilience building skills to support those children, young people, adults and families who have been affected by adversity. Training will also focus on the safety and wellbeing of staff across our workforce.

To find out more visit our training page by clicking here.


Barnardo’s NI Life Changers Programme - Participation of Children and Young People

Through the EITP Trauma Informed Practice Project, Barnardo's NI have been working with children and young people who are currently receiving support through the Barnardo’s services and programmes. Young people in care, children with a disability, refugee families, young carers and many more worked with the SBNI and Barnardo’s NI from January to March 2019 through a six week life changers programme to explore what their needs are, who supports them when they are experiencing distress and how they have been made to feel. A short video production brought together to showcase how staff are working through a trauma informed approach to support the young people. The learning from this work continues to inform the development of the SBNI EITP Trauma Informed Practice Project Training and Resources.

To download the Life Changers NI Report from the programme click here


Other helpful and practical trauma informed practice learning tools have been provided below: