Argyll and Bute continues to be one of three areas in Scotland leading the way in developing a trauma informed workforce. As part of this we have developed and collated a range of easy to use on line learning materials for everyone in the children’s services workforce to help support the different groups of staff who come into contact with children and families as part of their job.
Living through lockdown has been a challenge for all of us. For many living with the changes the virus has brought to our lives has been, and will continue to be, a uniquely traumatic experience. Many in our communities will have experienced traumatic experiences during lockdown; domestic abuse, neglect, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. For others the trauma will be less obvious, lockdown and the near constant media coverage will have triggered strong and prolonged feelings of fear, anxiety and worry, about ourselves and our loved ones or about a sense of lack of control and powerlessness over our own lives. Many of us will have known a near constant fear of losing someone close to us, be that because of the jobs they do or because they have been in one of the high risk groups. Others will have lost jobs, money and security for the future and some have lost loved ones they were unable to say goodbye to.
Everyone of us will have had a unique experience which will have impacted on us in different ways. To a greater or lesser extent this will leave many of us changed, sometimes in ways we won’t yet fully understand.
Returning to school and to work we are likely to see a range of behaviours that reflect the impact the virus has had on our lives, on our colleagues and on the children and families we support and who use our services. Working together with understanding will help us to reduce the potentially negative impact of this experience.
These materials have been developed to help us all, whatever job we do, be more attuned to these behaviours. They give us tools and approaches to understand and respond to them with empathy and sensitivity and to help support each other, our children and their families to move forward. A range of additional resources also provide for additional reading and guidance with specific issues or behaviours.
Your manager or agency lead can be contacted if you have any questions or support needs. You can find further information, self-help, and ideas for your school or service in approaches to mental health here.
All staff working in schools should watch the Sowing Seeds film before completing Exploring the role that schools can play in supporting learners who have experienced trauma. If you are a Named Person or a member of a pastoral support team in education, please complete the Exploring the role that schools can play in supporting learners who have experienced trauma, in the above trauma informed section, before starting the Developing your Trauma Skilled Practice module.