Working with children affected by family and domestic violence: A trauma sensitive approach

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

If you want to feel more confident working with children who have lived through family and domestic violence and ensure that you are working in a way that does not further traumatise the child, then this is the course for you.

Family and Domestic Violence interfere with key developmental tasks. The resilience of the human brain, nervous system and body enables survival. Often the tools of survival are the behaviours that interfere with life. Children who have lived through violence in their homes, within their care giving relationship may be silent, aggressive, defiant or appeasing. These children rarely feel safe. Their capacity to trust others and self is impacted. These children experience numerous losses, including loss of childhood and attachment.

When a child encounters a worker who is understanding of trauma and is able to work from a trauma informed perspective, the child may be supported in a way that will make a significant difference to the child’s world. Fostering safety, understanding and working with activation of the autonomic nervous system as well as relationship skills are critical to trauma-informed service delivery. Understanding that behaviour is an adaptation to the child’s lived experience rather than a malfunction of the child’s personality is a key component to being trauma informed.

This interactive and experiential workshop is for anyone who is familiar with the dynamics of family and domestic violence and would like to enhance their skills in working with children who have experienced domestic violence.

This workshop will utilise current and evidence-based approaches to working with children who have lived through the trauma of violence in their home lives. You will learn ways to implement care from a trauma-informed perspective. A number of different approaches will be explored including creative therapies and narrative therapy. The stress responses to trauma will be discussed with an opportunity to explore mechanisms that support reducing the arousal of the stress response system.

This workshop will provide the opportunity to:

  • Review the potential physical and mental health consequences for children who grow up in homes where there is domestic violence
  • Explore the principles of trauma-informed care and how to apply these principles when working with children who have survived domestic violence
  • Understand activation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic arousal and ways to work with activated states
  • Explore the importance of safety and ways to create safety within the worker-child relationship
  • Engage in a variety of experiential, child-focused activities
  • Discuss and explore a variety of approaches including narrative, play and art therapy strategies which may be applied when working with children
  • Discuss the development of relationships that foster good mental health and self-worth
  • Explore the window of tolerance and its implications for working with trauma

Who should attend?

Anyone who is working directly with children/young people who have experienced domestic violence and have some prior knowledge of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts on children and young people