MONDAY 3 JUNE 2013 29m to 5pm
Working with children at risk: developmental trauma within a complex trauma environment. Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson
A workshop with Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson, Member Harvard Global Mental Health Scientific Research Alliance, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Scientific Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation and Patron of the We Al-li Trust.
Judy says..”At this time, I am very interested in what I name as those children, who for whatever reason, are not receiving the services they critically need. I am writing here, about families who were already marginalised within a system that marginalised whole groups of people. It is what I call the extreme edge of generational trauma. I am presently doing some volunteer work with a school that has been established as a special school for kids who have been expelled from or suspended from every other school in the region. They have extreme aggressive and sexualised behaviour, but previously the children have not received an assessment. When we do get them assessed (because they are suicidal or acting out aggressively) we find they have a whole complex of mental illnesses – ‘Emerging psychosis with mood congruent depressive content, suicidal ideation and chronic grief, psychotic depression with some paranoia … . Chronic complex post-traumatic stress disorder.’ At this time there are no services, (in this town) capable of responding to the needs of such children, nor their families”.
We label children who are hurting, as bad or mad. But we do not invest in educational approaches which develop skills in our workers to help children heal.
This workshop will outline the We Al-li approach as an Indigenous educaring response to developmental trauma in children living in family situations of complex trauma. We Al-li focuses on building skills in workers so they are better equipped to support healing in children and their families across a complex of community generational healing needs. We Al-li works towards whole of community interventions, locating the needs of the child as the centre piece of all healing action., and the school as the centre place of community change in healing from trauma.
Children’s Voices have Power! Associate Professor Cindy Blackstock
This workshop will focus on how to reach out and engage young people and outline the processes and resources involved. With an emphasis on systemic advocacy (often based in flawed government policy) in change resistant environments the workshop will also show some of the work of First Nations and other children and young people in Canada in equity based campaigns coordinated by The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.
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