Improve the profile of Strategies for Managing Abuse Related Trauma (SMART) training for educational staff, requiring that to be part of professional development where appropriate.
A trauma informed practice in education conference, attended by over 700 staff, was held on 1 September 2017. Grants were provided to support to staff attend and/or host local events, with all Department for Education and Child Development staff having access to the conference content through the intranet in the month since the conference.
Feedback from the conference has been collated and will form the basis for developing a trauma informed practice strategy for the department.
The strategy will broaden the training, professional development and professional support options for staff to ensure the department has a workforce which understands and addresses the impact of trauma on children and young people.
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The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.
Improving the profile of teachers and educational staff engagement with Strategies for Managing Abuse Related Trauma (SMART) training is an important step towards improving how the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) works with children and young people in care.
The government has committed to a number of initiatives to improve the profile of SMART training and raise awareness of the impacts of trauma in general:
- increased promotion of SMART training through existing DECD communication channels including LinkED and Xtra+ and school counsellor distribution lists
- update relevant DECD policies and procedures related to student wellbeing with information relating to SMART training where applicable
- trial a whole-of-school approach to support students with severe trauma
- increase training opportunities for a range of people and roles that include:
- wellbeing practitioners
- support services
- school-based counsellors
- ancillary support staff
- staff working in the Anangu Lands School
- update and renegotiate training contract with the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF) to ensure needs of the trauma training needs of DECD staff are met.
To implement these initiatives, staff have been assigned to coordinate training, implement promotional strategies, identify target groups, undertake needs analysis and tailor training requirements.
To further support an improved profile for SMART training, DECD has renegotiated and expanded the service agreement with ACF, which delivers SMART training to DECD staff.