Knowledge and Resource Hub
29 May 2018

Trauma-informed care in child/family welfare services

This paper aims to define and clarify what trauma-informed service delivery means in the context of delivering child/family welfare services in Australia. Traumatic experiences are common, with people often having multiple adverse experiences across their life. There are many serious and deleterious outcomes associated with exposure to these experiences. Yet there  are only a small number of trauma-specific interventions that have been rigorously evaluated and shown to be effective. Problematically, the research is often based on populations who have only experienced a single traumatic event rather than complex trauma. Hence, there is no overarching framework for trauma-informed human service delivery in Australia. Consequently, there is a danger of inconsistent or piecemeal development of trauma-informed models and practices that do not share a consistent language or framework for implementing trauma-informed systems of care in child/family services. The paper also  identified a range of particular challenges to implementing a trauma-informed approach to care.