Secondary trauma: new Government definition

Article source: The Adopt South West Co-Production Group

Reference to this document will no doubt be useful in school reviews and discussions with professionals: Guidance: Working definition of trauma-informed practice Published by the Office for Health Improvement & Disparities.

This very helpful document has just been published providing clarity to professionals around how to support those who have experienced trauma and crucially here the importance of how they need to avoid secondary trauma.

It doesn’t go all the way there yet in its detail but the fact they have written it will help turn the tide and opens the door to that conversation in needing to address it. The part here about ‘choice’ is key here as often as parents we feel disempowered by some professionals.

Often taking a step back, listening and respecting parents is all we need and what our child deserves.

The guidance includes information on how trauma-informed practice can help practitioners recognise the signs, symptoms and impact of trauma and prevent re-traumatisation. It also outlines the six key principles of the practice – safety, trust, choice, collaboration, empowerment and cultural consideration. The Office for Health Improvement & Disparities says ‘an aim of the guidance is to address the lack of consensus within the health and social care sector on how trauma-informed practice is defined, what its key principles are and how it can be built into services and systems.’