Taking a Trauma-Informed Approach in Children’s Services

Discover how taking a trauma-informed approach can make a tangible difference to the support provided to a child who has experienced hardship. 

The context

The factors effecting response to trauma are complex and can present in a variety of ways. Some children who experience trauma will be resilient and exhibit few effects. Others will experience many adverse impacts and these effects may last a very long time. It is therefore important that any professionals working with young people who have experienced trauma are sensitive and responsive to it and are prepared to provide appropriate support. Not taking a trauma-informed approach can increase the risk of inadvertently re-traumatising the child or young person.

Such approaches should not be limited to the children themselves. We know that attachment can be affected by trauma and that by supporting the parents and carers of a child can have a significant impact on the wellbeing of the family as a whole. 

Finally, working with young people who have experienced difficult circumstances can be traumatic for staff (vicarious trauma). For professionals to provide the best support possible it is essential that structures are in place to help them manage their own response to the children and young people’s experiences.

The event

At this Holyrood event we will provide an introduction to trauma-informed practice and highlight its importance to nurturing attachment. As we do so we will look at practice from across Scotland, examining not only the importance of trauma-informed care for children and young people, but also for wider supports to families, carers and staff.

Key issues to be addressed

  • What is trauma-informed practice?
  • How can we translate existing theories in trauma-informed practice into tangible support for children, young people & their families?
  • Embedding trauma-informed practice in your service: assessing trauma history, training staff, collaboration and information sharing
  • Reducing the risk of re-traumatisation


09:15 Registration and refreshments

10:00 Opening remarks from the chair

Jacquie Roberts OBE, Former Chief Executive, Care Commission

Session 1: Trauma-informed Practice and Why It Matters

In this opening session we consider why trauma-informed practice is important across all aspects of service delivery for children, young people and their families.

10:05 Trauma, trauma informed practice and attachment

Christine Gordon, Founder, Adapt Scotland

10:25 Supporting the parents/carers of traumatised children

Christine Gordon, Founder, Adapt Scotland

10:45 Working with Vicarious Trauma and Staying Well

  • Enabling staff to engage with trauma survivors appropriately and sensitively whilst balancing the long and short term impact the trauma may have on them.
  • Encouraging a culture where staff can safely identify their needs
  • Exploring experiences of working with trauma that enable staff to  feel supported and sustain wellbeing 

Sue Hampson, Counsellor, Supervisor and Trainer, Safe to Say

11:05 Questions and discussion

11:20 Refreshments

Session 2: Embedding Trauma-informed Practice In Your Services

What does trauma-informed practice look like? We will share advice and information that will help you to embed components of trauma-informed care in your service(s) and also reflect on some of the challenges and limitations of this approach.

11:35 Tangible Trauma Informed Care?

  • Trauma-informed practice in residential units

Dan Johnson, Senior Forensic Psychologist, Kibble Education and Care Centre

12:05 Trauma training for staff

  • Children’s rights perspective
  • Psycho-education
  • Solution focused, working with the body and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing

Steve Sweeney, Children’s Service Manager, Barnardo’s Scotland Rollercoaster Service

12:35 Questions and discussion

12:50 Lunch

Session 3: Practice In Action

In this final session we will share case studies and research illustrating how trauma-informed practice can make a difference to service delivery.

13:40 Wellbeing Scotland's New Directions Service

Traci Kirkland, Deputy CEO, Wellbeing Scotland

14:00 Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT) and implementation of a Psychological Care Pathway

David Mitchell, Operations Manager, Rossie Young People's Trust

Dr Nicola Wylie, Forensic Psychologist, Rossie Young People’s Trust

14:20 The Sanctuary Model and Theraplay at Care Visions

Gaynor Corrigan, Team Manager for Enhanced Services and Operations, Care Visions

14:40 Questions and discussion

14:55 Closing remarks from the chair

15:00 Close of event

*Agenda subject to change 


NASUWT, 35 Young Street North Lane, Edinburgh EH2 4JD | Map


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Discounted rate: £145 (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 | 2+ places £195 (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 | 2+ places £245 (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email enquiries@holyrood.com or phone 0131 285 1635

31 January 2018
United Kingdom



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