Trauma Informed Schools
What Is a Trauma-Informed School?
A trauma informed school is one that is able to support children who suffer with trauma or mental health problems and whose troubled behaviour acts as a barrier to learning.
Traumatic stress can arise from a variety of sources: bullying at school, dramatic weather events, the day-to-day exposure to events such as divorce or homelessness. Children and adults can be affected by traumatic stress.
In a trauma-informed school, the adults in the school community are prepared to recognise and respond to those who have been impacted by traumatic stress.
Situations that can be traumatic:
- Physical or sexual abuse
- The death or loss of a loved one
- Life-threatening violence in a caregiver
- Witnessing domestic violence
- Automobile accidents or other serious accidents
- Life-threatening health situations and/or painful medical procedures
- Witnessing or experiencing community violence (e.g: robbery, or fighting at home, in the neighbourhood, or at school)
- Witnessing police activity or having a close relative incarcerated
- Life-threatening natural disasters
- Acts or threats of terrorism (viewed in person or on television)
- Living in chronically chaotic environments in which housing and financial resources are not consistently available
Trauma Informed Approach:
A child's story
Giving young people a voice
Feeling and being connected
Everyone feels safe
Strategies/Interventions that are and can be used:
- EAA (Emotionally Available Adult)
- Listening to a child's story
- Exploring through use of sand play
- Exploring through use of Big Empathy Drawing
- PACE (Playfulness/Acceptance/Curious/Empathy)
- use of puppets
- access to sensory resources
- emotion coaching