Childhood trauma training expands

Programme to teach health workers, teachers and police to respond compassionately to trauma advances

Thursday 16th May 2019

A programme to train healthcare staff, teachers and police to recognise and respond compassionately to the effects of childhood trauma is to be expanded, the Scottish Government has announced.

Three pilot councils - Argyll & Bute, Midlothian and Glasgow - have been asked to develop bespoke training schemes for the programme, which looks to give frontline workers a better understanding of how traumatic experiences in childhood affect later life.

John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister, said: “Abuse, neglect and other traumatic experiences, especially in childhood, can have a devastating and long-lasting impact upon people’s lives.”

“Frontline workers – who most frequently come into contact with people who have experienced trauma – must be able to respond confidently, with compassion and care. Not everyone needs to be an expert, but every interaction is an opportunity to support recovery and prevent re-traumatisation.”

3,000 workers have already benefitted from the course, with a further 5,000 set to take part by March 2021.

Mr Swinney added demand for training had already been “very high”.

Dr Sandra Ferguson, who heads the programme at NHS Education for Scotland, said: “Over the first year of this programme, we have been delighted with the huge levels of enthusiasm and interest across Scotland.  Almost 3,000 people have received face-to-face training and many more have worked with the team to help their organisations become trauma-informed.

“Scotland was the first country to develop a Knowledge and Skills Framework for Psychological Trauma, and a lot of remarkable work is underway to improve how we all respond to the needs of people affected by traumatic and adverse experiences.

“This programme will help equip the workforce with skills and confidence to respond, in line with the principles of trauma informed practice.”