Virtual Session – The Language Of TraumaChildren who have suffered trauma at times, can present behaviours which many people find challenging. When a child is attacking, pushing away and being outwardly expressive it can be hard to see beyond that, it can be hard to see the true messages a child is trying to convey.
How children behave and how children feel are often two completely different things. It is important for anyone working with children in care to understand that. Within a child's behaviours they are telling you everything you need to know, they are telling you their story. It is not fair to expect children to articulate their own psychology and deep-rooted traumas into words adults can understand. It is also not fair or productive to simply brand a child with terms such as “naughty” or “problematic”.
Those working with children must learn to understand and decode these behaviours in order to find and attempt to heal the root cause.
Children who have suffered trauma and hardship speak the language of trauma and in the language if trauma “I hate you” can mean “I love you”.
This course looks at what these behaviours really mean and gets people to start thinking about what the children in their care may be trying to communicate. Above all else this course is about helping people to understand the importance of responding to feelings rather then outwardly expressive surface behaviours.
Facilitator Scott King will also share some of his own experiences of being a “naughty kid”, articulating the feelings he was unable to articulate as a child.
Growing Up In Care: Lived Experience Virtual SessionScott King was taken into care when he was 6 months old along with his older brother Ben who was 3 at the time. Ben and Scott spent their entire youth in care and endured great hardship, however, somehow they prevailed in the face of adversity. Scott was considered by those caring for him to be a very challenging child, whereas Ben was very quiet. Due to reasons they were not aware of at the time, they both had a lot of moves and were split up partway through their journey. Scott will reflect on how he and Ben understood things as children and compare that to how they understand it all now. Like many children in care, Ben and Scott's journeys were complex and very confusing, leaving many voids and additional traumas after care. Scott will take learners through his and Ben's recovery journey of revisiting the old homes, finding the people from their past and finding the answers they needed to gain closure. Scott will take learners through every move, every hardship and all the ups and all the downs from his perspective as a child and as an adult looking back. Scott has also worked professionally in this system for many years as well so he is also able to bring in the professional perspective. By understanding Scott and Ben's journeys it will give learners a better insight into how a journey though care and trauma can feel and what it is like in their shoes. From this new level of understanding, learners can better understand the children they work for and think differently about the decisions they make.
Capturing The JourneyChildren raised by their birth families will have their lives recorded in the memories of those around them, by their family, by those who love them. A consistent caregiver not only provides a stable foundation for children to spread their roots and grow, they also provide a stable external narrative.
Children and young people in care will also have their lives recorded by those around them but the difference is that for many children in care, especially those on long term care orders, those around them are constantly changing and so that external narrative comes from a huge list of authors, all carrying different opinions and motives. This external narrative can paint an unfair and unbalanced picture of a child.
The lives of children and young people in care are narrated on paper and on electronic systems such as CHARMS. Although foster carers will record a child’s journey in their memory, when a child moves on from them, those memories stay in the minds of the foster carer, whilst their paper narrative sticks with them.
This course will explore how children are portrayed on paper with a focus on the power of blankets statements and labels, encouraging caregivers and professionals to narrate a child’s life positively rather than focussing on what a child has said or done wrong. Scott will also pull on his own life experiences, presenting some of his own files, reflecting on the way he was written about as a child.
Identity and Self-EsteemDeveloping self-compassion is helpful to good mental health and contributes to a stable sense of identity. Children in care will have faced great adversity in their life and so will often have low self-esteem, low self-worth and be confused about their identity.
This course will take a look at these issues. We will look at just how important identity and self-esteem is, not just in the now but in the long term. Many children in care do not like themselves and it is of paramount importance that we teach them how to value themselves and believe in themselves, to teach them self-compassion and to be kind to themselves.
An Introduction To FosteringThe world of fostering can be an absolute minefield for those just starting out - this course has been specifically designed as an introductory course to help you navigate the complex world of fostering. Whether you have just started the process, are thinking about fostering or have recently been approved this course will give you much needed confidence and understanding. This course is filled with information around how the UK care system functions including who everyone is, what they do and where foster carers fit into this. Throughout this course you will learn about why children come into care, including some real life narratives to give you a good idea of what life in care can be like from the child / young person's perspective. You will be provided with downloadable resources to take away and read / refer back to as and when needed. This course would also benefit anyone who finds themselves working with children in care within other roles or who wants to learn more about the care system.
This does not replace the Skills To Foster pre-approval training, however this course stands to help people feel more comfortable in understanding the world of fostering as they enter it.
Teenage Challenging BehavioursBeing a teenager is tough, being a parent to a teenager can feel even tougher, but being a teenager who is also carrying the additional weight of trauma and adverse childhood experiences is tougher than both combined.
This course looks at some of the difficulties that all teenagers face but also, how growing up in care can exacerbate the already very difficult developmental changes and stages of adolescence.
Tools and tips are provided to aid understanding and to nurture a new way of thinking about teenagers and their external behavioural expressions whilst always linking how they behave to how they feel.