Trauma Integrative & Transformative Practice

Centre for Trauma Integrative and Transformative Practice

The Australian Childhood Foundation has been working with the richness of ideas that the field of neuroscience has offered to those of us taking care of children, young people and adults who have suffered trauma resulting from violation. We have tried to translate the work of Siegel, Schore, Tronick, Porges, Perry, Ogden, Atkinson, Van Der Kolk, Hughes and others so that it is relevant for practitioners in education, child protection, out of home care, family support, youth justice and mental health.

We have held the goal to collaborate with others to hold compassion for the pain that children and young people carry with them as a result of the abuse and violence they have been forced to endure. Our whole field has been on an expedition into new territories of understanding and has worked on the interpretation of the consequences of constant threat being embedded deeply into the brains and bodies of children and young people.

Our ambition is to reflect and conceptualise clearer models of integration. We need models that resource practitioners towards more analysis and less description. We need models that create principles that orient us to shared and mutual ways of working. And we need models that centralise approaches that not only address the current needs of children but also understand and meet the echoes of needs that have remained unmet in their past because of the trauma they have experienced.

This future is a move beyond being trauma informed to being trauma-integrated and trauma transformative.

Being trauma integrated leads to services using the knowledge base about trauma and  fusing these principles with their own purpose and vision. A trauma integrated service has an articulated approach to practice. It combines its own value base with its commitment to achieving change. Trauma is not separate to the operations of the service, it is at the centre. The knowledge base from the neuroscience of child development and relationships offer resources to practitioners that build on other important principles which include being culturally strong, risk responsive, rights oriented and strengths based. Trauma integrated services focus away from individual trauma symptoms. They interact with the individual as a whole person and as part of a network of relationships that are strengthened as the basis for change.

In addition to being trauma integrated, trauma transformative services embed two significant additional layers into their orientation:

  1. They have thought of and committed themselves to a theory of change that realistically supports how children, young people and families affected by violence come to experience their lives differently. The service and its staff believe that the effects of trauma can be changed. They represent hope to service users and the community.
  2. They oppose broader community narratives that serve to trap those affected by the effects of trauma in identities that are shaming. Trauma transformative services connect the community to the pain of violence and resource understanding and compassion.

The Centre for Trauma Integrative and Transformative practice is a way for the Australian Childhood Foundation to continue to work in partnership with other organisations who are also committed to a way of working with children, young people, adults and their communities which are deeply compassionate and acknowledging of the pain that violation of safety carries with it.

The Centre aims to bring together partners that share similar philosophies and commitments. It is a place to learn and a place to collaborate.

We collaborate to make organisational change possible.

We collaborate with experts internationally and nationally to translate the neuroscience of relationships and trauma into practice. We work with you to bring trauma responsive practice to life in your organisation. We work with research partners and knowledge partners such as Southern Cross University and Melbourne University to use an implementation science led design approach that is specifically tailored to the change outcomes that you have envisaged for your organisation or service.

We support the engagement of all your stakeholders in articulating a practice framework that integrates your vision, principles and approaches with the knowledge base that is relevant to your service users. We have developed many practice frameworks covering a range of service types, including mental health, family violence, out of home care, family support, education, child protection.

All of the co-designed frameworks are unique to your organisation or team. They are developed to make the most of your organisational skills, capacities and ideology. A practice framework reflects your intentions about how your organisation or team intends to make a difference.

We support sustainable practice change.

We apply an active implementation methodology to help you embed changed practice frameworks into service delivery. Active implementation research shows that addressing three key implementation drivers—leadership, competency and organization—is critical to successfully implementing and sustaining new programs and practices over time (Frixsen and Blase, 2008). These drivers provide the basis upon which an organisation can establish the capacity to create practice, program, and systems-level changes needed to achieve the desired outcomes.

The drivers we work with to resource change across your organisation include:

Competency Drivers which build capacity and confidence of staff to develop, improve and sustain the organisation’s ability to implement an innovation as intended.

Organization Drivers which create and sustain supportive and hospitable administrative, funding, policy, and procedure environments to support practice and to ensure continuous quality monitoring and improvement.

Leadership Drivers which focus on ensuring the appropriate leadership strategies and expertise is in place to establish, repurpose, adjust and monitor the competency drivers and the organisation drivers throughout the implementation stages – to make decisions, provide guidance, and support organisation functioning (Bertram, Blase, et al, 2011).

Implementation drivers are integrated and compensatory in nature (Frixsen and Blase, 2008) where:

Integration means that the philosophy, goals, knowledge and skills related to the program or practice are consistently and thoughtfully expressed in each of the implementation drivers. The work of leaders, systems to build competency and other organizational systems must use the same language, focus on the same goals and support one another; and,

Compensatory means that the skills and abilities not acquired or supported through one driver can be compensated for by the use of another driver.

We provide the training and the necessary reflective opportunities to support the implementation of the change.

We have extensive experience in the delivery of accredited and non-accredited training for all levels of your organisations – from Boards through to operational staff.  We will map out a blueprint that customises training to ensure that the practice changes are implemented in ways that take hold. We will also run reflective practice and other kinds of forums that will support the leaders in your organisation or team to resource their staff to adopt the changed practice framework. This is a vital component of all organisational change processes.

We deliver sustainable practice change support for your managers and teams.

We have built a purposeful platform that combines a library of resources and online community of practice that can be tailored specifically for your organisation in its journey to achieve sustainable practice change.

How do you collaborate with us?

We know that collaborations require a shared sense of values and approach. Use the Form below and send us a request for more information. We will start a conversation about how this kind of change can be supported in your organisation and for your stakeholders and service users.

Our aim is to support organisations to create the practice environments that are compassionate, knowledgeable and effective in their responses to the needs of children, young people and adults who have experienced trauma.

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A blog by professionals for professionals working with children and young people

Prosody Blog

Prosody is the pitch and tone of the human voice. It is the very essence of connection.
Our blog – Prosody – hosts an ongoing forum for the exchange of ideas about protecting children and young people from abuse and exploitation, advocating for their rights, resourcing the adults who are important to them and applying the neuroscience of trauma and healing. It is filled with articles reflecting on research and practice knowledge written by professionals who share in a commitment to the well-being and safety of children and young people. We hope you join the conversation too!

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