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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Better outcomes for vulnerable kids

Over the past few months we have had an increasing number of requests to present and provide training on what trauma informed care means. We have also noticed more and more training organisations are adding a trauma informed care course to their training packages. 

So, it was interesting to read more about what is being done to help organisations and systems that work with children, to work in a way that promotes the best interests of traumatised children. One of ways this is being done in the United States, is through Trauma Systems Therapy (TST).  TST has been developed by New York University and aims to enhance trauma informed systems in a way that they are able to work more effectively with children. It does not take the place of individual therapy for the child, but helps to change the systems that are involved in providing care and support for the child. A recent article in the Huffington Post talks about the application of TST with a young boy with a history of complex trauma. 

TST is based on the belief that traumatised children have a great deal of difficulty in regulating their emotional states and that the systems that support them is not able to assist the child to contain this dysregulation.
"the essence of TST is to help the child gain control over emotions and behaviour via enhancing the child's capacity to regulate emotion and diminishing the ongoing stresses and threats in the social environment. TST was also designed to build the capacity of significant others in the child's environment to help the child control his or her emotional and behavioural responses".  

TST is starting to be implemented in an increasing number of settings across the US. There has been some evaluation done that has shown positive outcomes, especially in working with children involved with child protection systems. 

Helping families, schools, child protection systems and other organisations that work with children, to understand more about how trauma impacts on children and to find the most effective ways to work with traumatised kids, can only lead to better outcomes for this vulnerable group. 

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