The For Baby’s Sake Trust is developing new ways to respond to multi-agency and multi-disciplinary professionals who want to draw on the learning and ways of working within For Baby’s Sake to develop their own practice.
One way we are doing this is through providing introductory and bespoke training to help equip professionals working with parents, babies and children in need of trauma-informed support.
Salford Council commissioned the Trust to deliver trauma-informed and attachment- focused training to social workers in Salford and Stockport, based on For Baby’s Sake. This commission was funded through a Children’s Social Care COVID-19 Regional Recovery programme funded by the Department for Education, recognising the need to address the longer-term impact of COVID-19 for children and families.
Feedback from social workers included appreciation for the ‘fantastic tools’, opportunities to ‘reflect and think about planning’ for parents, especially in traumatic circumstances such as when it is necessary to remove their baby, and how social workers can protect themselves when vulnerable to vicarious trauma or triggers because of the social workers’ own childhood experiences.
In March 2022, we also completed the delivery of a series of ‘Trauma Insight’ introductory sessions to over 200 multi-agency professionals across Hertfordshire, with attendees feeding back on having valued the learning, including how to put trauma-informed work into practice.
Unresolved trauma can negatively affect every aspect of life, so discovering the root of fears, insecurities and sabotaging life patterns is crucial to enhance the possibility for recovery and sustained change.
The training for Salford and Stockport and the ‘Trauma Insight’ sessions in Hertfordshire introduced The For Baby’s Sake Trust’s suite of Trauma Insight Resources. These practical and strengths-based tools:
- Provide clarity on adverse childhood experiences and the impact of unresolved trauma
- Offer advice, guidance, and examples of how to open up difficult, often avoided conversations for professionals working with families or children presenting with multiple and complex needs
- Include separate and complementary resources for those working who work with parents and those who work with children
- Are relevant to those engaging with parents, children, young people or families in whatever capacity
We had developed these tools in 2021, funded through the COVID recovery Community Match Challenge Fund. Our design approach included a co-production element with two key partners with a particular reach into families affected by domestic abuse and adverse childhood experiences:
- The Association of Safeguarding Partners (TASP): the charitable membership organisation for local Safeguarding Partnerships and related bodies and partnerships, which promote the safeguarding of children and vulnerable people
- Home-Start UK: the national body for 207 local Home-Start charities, which support families with young children through trained volunteers and expert support
We ran focus groups with TASP members and local Home-Start coordinators before finalising the suite of trauma insight resources and then held partnership webinars, reaching over 409 logins to a TASP forum and almost 50 Home-Start staff members, to launch the resources and explore the practice of trauma-informed work. TASP and Home-Start both share the Trust’s ambition to build on this foundation. Feedback from the webinars has been very positive, for example:
- “Given me some ideas for a particular case that I’m struggling to get the young person to open up. Thank you. I’ll also be looking at the resources to see if I can get more ideas. (Social Worker at TASP webinar)
- “I found this really informative and I’m looking forward to having a further look at the resources, from a Domestic Violence & Abuse perspective we see trauma every day and the impact that this has upon victims and their children. I am really keen to not always blame the abusing person and we have started to take a trauma-informed response to their circumstances, the reason for abusing and using timelines to look at the abusing person’s life and why they behave the way they do to support behaviour change and recovery (Domestic Abuse Support professional at TASP webinar)
- “The tools would fit in perfectly…really helpful…can’t wait to get my hands on them” (Home-Start Coordinator at Home-Start webinar)
The Trauma Insight Resources, comprising explainer animated films, diagrams and guidance (Trauma Insight: Overview; Growing Up With Adversity – the Adversity Cycle; Trauma Insight: Children; Trauma Insight: Parents), are available for download from the Tools and Resources section of our website