This issue of ChildLinks look at how trauma can impact on children’s daily life and their ability to function and interact with others.
Children who are exposed to traumatic events may experience a wide range of consequences that can include intense and
ongoing emotional distress and behavioural problems, difficulties with attention, academic failure, problems with sleep or illness.
Interventions where young children and their families learn about the impact of trauma and what they can do about it can support
children to develop the skills they need to be resilient no matter what adversity comes their way. These skills can truly change the trajectory of the life of the child and the family. The first article in this issue looks at the work of the leading federal initiative focused on child trauma in the US, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). The NCTSN aims to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatised children, their families and communities by raising public awareness of the
scope and serious impact of child traumatic stress on the safety and healthy development of children; advancing a range trauma-informed, developmentally and culturally appropriate programmes that improve the standard of care; working with established systems of care to ensure that there is a comprehensive trauma-informed continuum of accessible care; and fostering a community dedicated to collaboration within and beyond the NCTSN to ensure that widely shared knowledge and skills become a sustainable national resource.The articles that follow look at how traumatic events like bereavement, domestic abuse
and refugee status can have long term impacts for children. The first of these outlines the evaluation of the TLC Kidz Programme, a multi-agency, group programme for children and mothers recovering from domestic abuse. Next, Brid Carroll from the Irish
Childhood Bereavement Network outlines how bereavement in childhood can have long-term consequences for children and
considers how the needs of bereaved Irish children can be identified and addressed as early as possible to prevent long term trauma. The two articles that follow focus on refugee and asylum-seeking children, who are ten times more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder compared to their non refugee peers. Robin Balbernie, Child Psychotherapist and Clinical Director of PIP UK, then considers intergenerational trauma and the cycle of negative caregiving. Sometimes the traumatic experiences of the one generation live on to affect the generation that follows but relationship based interventions can help to break this cycle. The final article in this issue outlines the Trauma Smart® (TS) model in the US, which is designed to support very young children, and the adults who care for them, with hands on, practical tools and effective strategies to help children to learn to express their emotions in a healthy way that prepares them for social and academic success.
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