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In honour of FASD Awareness Month this September, the CETC brought together esteemed thought leaders Dr Julia Shekleton, Prue Walker, and Noel Macnamara to delve into the complex intersection between Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and trauma. This panel discussion explored the ways we can integrate our understanding of FASD and trauma to better support and care for children within the out-of-home care system.
When it comes to working in residential care, organisations often look for workers with qualifications as evidence of theoretical knowledge and "hard skills", despite the clear needs of young people in residential care that require the "soft skills" of empathetic and compassionate communication. Which is more important in this crucial caring role?
Typical childhood fears tend to disappear as children grow older. However, traumatic events that induce fear, such as physical and sexual abuse or exposure to family violence, contribute to lifelong impacts on well-being. What children and young people in the out-of-home care system need most is to be surrounded by a healthy community that can buffer the fear, pain, distress, and loss caused by their earlier-life trauma. What works to heal them is anything that increases the number and quality of a child or young person’s relationships.
Young people experiencing grief may behave in ways that are designed to push carers away, but at these times they need carers more than ever. Carers' sensitive support can assist young people to process grief and establish positive templates of connection and resilience.
The challenge with restrictive practice policy and practice is that a judgement must be made about when it is legitimate to restrict young people and what type of restriction is acceptable.
‘The Brightness of Stars’ powerfully captures the lives of adults who have experienced out-of-home care. 10 adults to reflect on how being ‘in care’ have shaped who they are.
This Pride month, as we celebrate the steps forward for the LGBTQI+ community, it is crucial that we don’t ignore the immense challenges some of the most vulnerable in our community continue to face.
Although it is common to view trauma-informed care as a type of behavioural intervention, we need to shift our focus to prioritising authentic connection to who our children really are. When children hold a positive sense of safety and self, their behaviours may naturally change as they learn to regulate and overcome their fears.
What Terry’s experience and poem tells us is that all young people—especially those in detention with experiences of childhood trauma and violence—have the right to have fun and “just be a kid”.
We were recently privileged to have Dr Jacynta Krakouer lead a training session on cultural connections for First Nations children and young people in out-of-home care, which proved to be a rich opportunity to reflect on how we can better support relationships and identity for young people we work with.
The CETC is thrilled to announce our new online course “Caring for Children and Young People with Trauma” is now live and free for all South Australian kinship and foster carers!
Stories are a powerful therapeutic tool that can create real change and give children and young people the skills and confidence to make their voices heard in future.
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