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Trauma Informed Practice

Trauma Informed Practice is recognising and understanding the impact that trauma and adversity has had on adults and children and considering ways to respond in a way that promotes positive relational experiences when certain emotions or behaviours are displayed.

Systems can be designed to be trauma-informed, so that all professionals have a good understanding of trauma and are trained and supported to work with individuals and families which is sensitive to the trauma they might have faced and helps them to overcome the impact of trauma in their lives. Trauma-informed systems also consider how to identify those who have experienced multiple childhood traumas, and how to put support in for families that addresses the impacts of trauma and prevents
intergenerational transmission of trauma.


Many children who have experienced trauma are sensitive to change. Their past relationships with adults may have been characterised by inconsistent and unpredictable responses to their needs, periods of emotional unavailability, separations and loss. When children have experienced vulnerability, trauma or disruption in their formative years, the idea of transitions can be very difficult and scary.

As we know, transitions come in many forms, particularly in our Early Years settings. Transitioning to the room, to new educators and adults throughout the day, transitioning to new activities or friendships and even transitioning to new skills and developmental milestones across the year.

What does being trauma-informed look like in practice?

When practitioners, services and policies are trauma-informed, it generally means that
▪ Recognise and understand the different ways that experiences of trauma impact on individuals, groups and communities
▪ Recognise and understand the signs, symptoms of trauma and how trauma influences individuals’ behaviours and needs
▪ Work with individuals in a way that is sensitive to, and helps to overcome the impact of trauma in their lives and avoids re-traumatisation.
Services working with families in early childhood can recognise and respond to the way in which parents’ or primary caregiver’s experiences of trauma may impact their wellbeing, engagement with services and relationships with their babies.