THE Katungul Aboriginal medical service Corporation has brought together schools and service providers for a three-day Trauma Informed Practice conference for a shared approach to support vulnerable children and young people.
Last Thursday, more than 140 participants from 53 schools and organisations from Ulladulla to Eden attended training with Mary Jo McVeigh, who shared over 30 years of experience as a clinician with vulnerable children and young people.
Mary Jo is an accredited mental health social worker and trauma therapist, who is a respected publisher of journal articles and books in this area.
Today, Wednesday, May 21, the conference continues with more discussion, while a third day on June 18 will allow for feedback.
An increasing number of families are experiencing financial hardship, at risk of homelessness and lack of access to services and if not supported may lead to family violence and mental health issues.
All of these stressors can impact on children and young people’s ability to make a good start in life.
Experts believe that experiences of long-lasting stress or trauma rock the very core of children and young people.
Children become overcome with the internal reactions that race through their brains and bodies having little space left for learning and unable to concentrate, according to www.childhood.org.au
Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Services believes a shared approach is needed to support these vulnerable children, young people and their families.
Training is just the beginning and hence provided the Trauma Informed Practice Conference with training and importantly a forum with ‘how to’ based on the implementation of lessons presented in Narooma free with no cost to attend.
Katungul is committed to partnering with schools and other providers of children’s services and consider providing this forum as an investment in the future of children and young people in our community.
Katungul CEO Jon Rogers said it was essential that people dealing with affected children and adults were aware of their client’s background.
This week everyone returned for the second day of the training - a forum with panels of local speakers who shared insights and knowledge to open up discussion on how schools and service providers can implement this training and work together to support vulnerable children and young people.
Michele Pollach school counsellor from Catholic Care stated that “Using theory & research from health, psychology, history, culture, religion & arts, Mary Jo McVeigh wove a multi-dimensional blanket around trauma, inspiring reflection, integration and growth in practice.”
Merle Conyer, has a Master of Education, Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy, Graduate Diploma in Communication Management, and several clinical and healing qualifications.
She is also facilitating another trauma-informed project for Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA) in partnership with Katungul.
Merle led the group with activities and brainstorming around six key principles of practice that schools and services can use when working with children and young people who have experienced ongoing stressors and trauma.