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 is working with partners to develop a trauma informed practice training resource that will be available in the Autumn of 2019. The training resource will support staff working with children or adults who are experiencing trauma as a result of childhood adversity.
Barnardo’s NI Life Changers Project - 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 project 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.
Other helpful and practical trauma informed practice learning tools have been provided below:
- NHS Education for Scotland - Sowing Seeds - Trauma Informed Practice for anyone working with Children and Young People
- Dr.Karen Triesman - Safe Hands Thinking Minds
- Trauma Informed Oregan
- Blue Knot Foundation Australia - Trauma Informed Practice