“And it's Not History. It's Now”: Embedding a Trauma Framework into the Practice of Welfare Practitioners who Work with Aboriginal Families in the NSW Child Protection Sector

Researchers from TeEACH (Menzies & Grace) have recently completed a study that trialled the embedding of a trauma-informed framework in the training of professionals who work in the child protection system, including case-workers (social workers and psychologists), managers, policy makers, lawyers and a judge. This project explored the knowledge and practices of professionals who were engaging with Aboriginal families in the child protection context. Comprehensive, theoretically driven and highly practical training and mentoring was provided in multi-disciplinary workshops, and the short-term impact of the training on practice settings assessed.

Aboriginal community members supported the delivery of the training through the sharing of stories. This project demonstrated positive findings in the short-term (approximately 6 months post-training).40,41 Participants also reported benefitting from participating in multi-disciplinary workshops and gaining understanding of the experiences and limitations that impact the practice of other professionals within the same system. Further research is required to explore long-term outcomes and the ongoing training and support needs required to bring about positive change in the ways in which the child protection system engages with Aboriginal families.