Childhood Trauma & Adversity Part 2 (James McTaggart)

Date/Time
Date(s) - 19/01/2021
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


There is increasing awareness that many children grow up in difficult circumstances, and that this can have far-reaching impacts on health, learning, behaviour and well-being. Sometimes less clear is what we can do about this – whether to help individuals or to prevent adverse experiences more widely. There are many competing approaches to the issues, and many different metaphors – including “toxic stress”, “attachment disorder”, “resilience” and even “internal sabre-toothed tigers”.
The effects of childhood adversity and trauma often present “in disguise”, whether as substance misuse, risk-taking, behaviour issues, withdrawal, anxieties, or issues with learning. Understanding presenting issues as related to past traumatic experiences, or to other forms of childhood adversity, can help with both intervention and prevention. While some work needs to be highly specialised, significant differences can also be made by any practitioner through simple approaches to supporting children.
Session 1 will provide an understanding of psychological trauma, what it is, how it impacts on wellbeing, and how we can all help children to recover. It will cover the knowledge elements of the first two levels of the National Trauma Training framework.
Session 2 will set trauma into a wider context of other kinds of childhood adversity, including community and socio-economic aspects, from pre-birth to young adulthood, and will show the impacts on brain, mind and body so as to clarify how they can be recognised and what kinds of intervention can help and when.
By the end of these sessions, staff should:

• Know about the range of adverse experiences that can affect children’s well-being from pre-birth to teenage
• Recognise the kinds of issues that children who have traumatic memories can present with, and how to assess and address these
Understand how adverse experiences affect development, learning, behaviour and health and what this looks like in different contexts, such as home, school or community.
Have clear ideas how, in their role, they can reduce or prevent the impacts of adverse childhood experiences
Understand the roles of other staff, agencies and services, and how to work together using a common language
Be confident in applying knowledge about trauma and adverse childhood experiences to joint planning for children
Have a simple framework, based on SHANARRI, for communicating about adversity and trauma safely and clearly to young people and families

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