Carers at a recent “Recharge 2019” event, held by Connecting Foster and Kinship Carers SA, learned about the impacts of trauma on children and were given some useful tips for managing this in their caring role.
The lively presentation by Dr Sara McLean focussed on the main reasons why children who have faced trauma struggle to regulate their behaviour, and the crucial role of carers as translators and interpreters of children’s behaviour.
Dr McLean asked attendees to imagine they were transported away from what they knew to a foreign country, where everything was unfamiliar and nobody spoke their language. She then drew a parallel between the culture shock they might experience and how children in care feel when they are removed from their families and placed in a new environment.
This exercise illustrated how a child’s behaviour can be heavily influenced by the trauma they’ve experienced, and that by understanding the messages behind behaviours, carers can lead a child to alternate and more appropriate ways of behaving.