Developing trauma informed support

Published on
25 Jul 2017
addressing trauma1

We’re partnering with others to develop a trauma awareness training package and a new trauma informed remand decision-making tool. 

Coping with trauma and adversity

Many of the behavioural symptoms seen in the vulnerable children and young people we work with are the direct result of attempts to cope with extreme levels of adversity, often over prolonged periods, and traumatic, overwhelming experiences.

For children brought into care, this trauma is compounded by separation from their families, friends and communities and uncertainty around their future.

Kids who need the most love will often ask for it in the most unloving of ways

Partnership to develop training

To help build better understanding of the impact of trauma, and minimise the potential to re-traumatise, we worked with Werry Workforce Whāraurau at the University of Auckland to develop a trauma awareness training package for caregivers and frontline practitioners within the children’s workforce.

Initial feedback from those involved in pilot workshops has been very positive:

“There’s a lot going on for these children … this is how they’ve adapted to survive. We need to stay stronger, for longer, and be persistent when we’re being pushed away.”

The final evaluation will inform future initiatives in promoting trauma informed practices for caregivers and practitioners.

Remand decision making tool

We’re also developing a new trauma informed remand decision-making tool to help reduce reliance on custodial remand and institutional care.

The tool aims to support decision making when determining a young person’s remand status in Youth Court, and help balance responsibilities to protect the public, support victims, and improve outcomes for struggling young people.

The tool enables sector partners (Police, Oranga Tamariki, Education, Health and others) to pool their information into one coherent picture of the young person - looking at things like the young person’s culture and identity, their experience of trauma, their offending history, risk factors and strengths, as well as what’s happening in their community and their whānau.

Dr Ian Lambie is leading the development of the tool alongside other academics and experts, and is consulting widely with others in the sector. Aspects of the tool have been tested in pre-court decision making and it will be piloted in coming weeks.