More than 2,000 Queensland child protection workers have completed an award-winning training course aimed at helping children overcome trauma and live happy lives, with 3,500 more enrolled.
Minister for Child Safety Di Farmer said the Palasczuk Government funded Queensland’s peak body for child protection PeakCare $250,000 to develop the training, which is being delivered to workers in residential care facilities across the state.
“The children who are placed in residential care are often the children who’ve experienced the most severe trauma imaginable – absolutely heartbreaking stuff,” she said.
“As a result, these children act out that profound trauma with really extreme behaviours, far beyond what your average foster carer has the capacity to manage safely.
“What this training does is it helps our residential care workers to understand the incredible trauma that is behind these extreme and highly confronting behaviours, and give them the skills they need to respond in a compassionate and constructive way.
“The aim is to eventually help these children to overcome their trauma and find a way to heal.
“So far, more than 2,000 workers have completed the training, and there are another 3,500 enrolled.”
Ms Farmer said the training, developed by PeakCare and training development agency Croomo, was being delivered through e-learning modules.
“The Hope and Healing Framework for working with children we released in 2015, which this training falls under, was developed in direct response to a Carmody recommendation for child safety reform,” she said.
“These modules went live in late 2018, with a staggered rollout – the final modules went live only in May, so it’s incredible to see that more than 2,000 workers have already completed all ten modules.
“Last month, PeakCare and Croomo won gold in the 2019 LearnX Live Awards in the Best Learning and Development Project in the Wellbeing category.
“It’s fantastic to see our child protection partners in Queensland leading the way nationally.”
PeakCare executive director Lindsay Wegener said the words Hope and Healing said it all.
“This comprehensive training program equips residential care workers with the knowledge and skills needed to help children and young people recover and heal from the trauma of past experiences of abuse or neglect and to instil in them hope for a better future – a sense of hope that for far too many has been in short supply,” he said.
“On behalf of PeakCare and all non-government organisations involved in residential care, we want to express our appreciation to Minister Farmer and the State Government for investing in the safety and future of Queensland’s children and young people.
“There can be no better investment made by a government. It’s what the public expects and these children, young people and their families deserve no less.”
Residential care house manager Neslihan Mustafa from Silky Oaks Children’s Haven said the training was engaging and very informative about trauma and its effects.
“The audio from workers and clients talking through their experiences made it very real for me,” she said.
“I find that as I get on with my workday, I recall things I have learnt in Hope and Healing, and I use them in my day to day interactions with our clients.
“My staff and I talk about trauma and how it impacts on our clients and we do the module activities together, which in turn unites us as a team when working with our clients.
“I would love to see the day where all residential care services can utilize the Hope and Healing Framework so that when a client is moved from one care service to another, they will have the continuity of the same understanding and care.”
Ms Farmer said the training had proven so useful to residential care workers, the department would explore ways to make similar training available to more people.
“All existing residential care staff in Queensland are required to complete the training and we have received incredibly positive feedback about the training with other jurisdictions also interested in it,” she said.
“I’ve heard from many foster and kinship carers around the state that they would like additional training to help them feel confident when working with children with complex needs.
“We look forward to working with PeakCare to identify ways we might be able to adapt that training for other services and staff including foster and kinship care agencies.”