There is nothing new about a resilience-building model for children in trauma. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is central to most organizations in this field. Yet, why does it not happen in practice as much or remains fragmented? Thinking in particular of low income countries and areas of extreme deprivation, the overwhelming need, limited resources and usual lack of sufficient specialist services explain the obvious.
As I am increasingly discovering, there are excellent strands to this module from centres or groups with vast expertise. Hopefully, WACIT can help bring those strands into interplay as a comprehensive how-to-do it model, and facilitate exchange of knowledge and establishment of networks. There is a lot more we do not know about, but I will only mention for now, longstanding or new partners and friends, and how their ideas and influence are beginning to tell. Some need no introduction, others are more targeted but also innovative. Looking at an early emerging model:
- Safety and Child Protection: Everyone has a role to play, but the overarching role of ISPCAN (International Society for the Protection of Children from Abuse and Neglect) can not be stated enough.
- Nurturing for families and other carers, including staff and volunteers: Again, a lot more to come, but a great evolving framework from the Theraplay Institute and their colleagues in over 60 countries, who constantly adapt and evolve interventions for different levels of need; such as Sunshine Circles for prevention, whole school classroom, group or family theraplay..
- School and Community as location of response services: Possibly the most diverse wealth of interventions. Can not wait to gig with the Invest in Children Africa group from South Carolina in a few weeks on their integrated creative and trauma-focused activities programme.
- Universal or targeted trauma-focused (or related) interventions, predominantly through schools: The challenges include adaptation for non-specialists, framework, fidelity and generalizability. The goals can differ, with a lot of positive findings on Writing for Recovery from the Children and War Foundation, and the Better Learning Program (which I am also excited to visit and experience later this year) by the University of Tromso and the Norwegian Refugee Council.
- Counselling and Psychological Interventions: The boundaries blur from the previous, and probably need targeted and group approaches to be cost-effective.
- High risk and severity: Realistic but direct access to sparse specialist resources, training and supervision. Delighted for the World Psychiatric Association to be on board, spread the message and advise.
- Academic centres: Role can involve any of the previous, collaboration for training materials (our training package is well under development for free access to WACIT partners pretty soon), student volunteers and exchange programmes; needs analysis and evaluation.
PLEASE, ADD OUR OWN LAYER AND EXPERIENCE TO THE WIKI!