An Introduction to Children who have Experienced Loss and Trauma

intro to CELT teddy

An Introduction to Children who have Experienced Loss and Trauma

Provided by: Dr Wendy Thorley, National Teaching Fellow and Senior Lecturer, Lead for Children who have Experienced Loss and Trauma (CEL&T)

This unit introduces thematic reasoning for children experiencing loss and trauma and what this means for children and young people. The unit includes the theoretical basis from which to appreciate how this impacts upon a high percentage of children and young people both Nationally and Internationally and what this means for those working with these children and young people. 

This unit will be available from the new CEL&T Website from this summer


FEEDBACK FOR THIS UNIT: (thank you to everyone for letting us know your thoughts)

From taking part in this unit I feel that I have ……..gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and information which has given me a much greater understanding and insight into not only how a child might feel following some of the tragic situations which have led them into being in care, but also how those situations affect them emotionally and physically. I feel much better equipped to help a child who I know to be living with toxic stress; better able to understand some of the behaviour which can be challenging to deal with and better able to be part of what might help to change not only the present but also the future for that child. October, 2016 completion
From taking part in this unit I feel that I have ……..From this unit I have learnt a lot of new/shocking information that I had never come across before. It has really made me take a step back and think about these kinds of situations and how these children and young people must feel. I was particularly interested in the brain development and the explanation of toxic stress as this completely new knowledge to me. I was also highly interested in the statistics presented in the PowerPoint presentation and some were a shock to the system. Finally, this unit has made me really think about ways in which these children can be supported, and since this unit I have researched a few organisations to gain more in depth knowledge. Children and Family support worker
From taking part in this unit...I feel that I have learnt something new which will benefit me in my career. Although parts of this unit have focussed mainly on teachers I think whatever career path you follow this will be beneficial to have taken part in. This has given me an insight into different ways that children can experience loss and trauma and has helped me to understand that as a professional we have to see that all children can deal with it differently. The video of children discussing what they wished their teachers had done has shown me that what children want is a bit of support and someone to talk to. As a professional it is important to listen to children and find out how they are feeling in order to give them the support they need. I found the divorce and separation section particularly interesting as I did not quite realise how much it affects children when their parents separate. After completing this unit I now feel that as a professional I can put this into practice in future careers in order to support the children in my care.Newly qualified QTS
From taking part in this unit I feel that I have ……..Gained valuable knowledge about how children can experience loss and trauma, as I had not really thought much about children who have parents in prison; yet from the statistics presented, it is a shockingly large proportion of school aged children. Because of this I feel that I as a future practitioner within education, now have the knowledge to begin to understand how these children may be feeling, and more importantly, how children would like practitioners to act, especially from watching the video ‘What Teachers Need to Know - from bereaved young people’. Post Grad Teacher Trainee
From taking part in this unit I feel that I have...Learnt more in how to work with and support children who are experiencing loss and trauma, and the best ways of making them feel safe and secure. I have more of an understanding on how children's brains develop and what approaches may be best to adopt when dealing with children who are experiencing toxic stress. I feel that I will be more equipped in the future when it comes to dealing with children who are experiencing loss and trauma and the best way to approach them. I also have a deeper understanding of how loss and trauma affects children.
From taking part in this unit I feel that I have ……..I feel like I have gained really useful knowledge and information on this area. I will definitely always refer to this while working with children. I work in an afterschool club currently and have already shared what I have learned with other staff members and manager. This unit has showed me how important it is to nurture children in their early years otherwise it can have negative and serious long term impacts
I have gained valuable knowledge regarding children who have experienced loss and trauma, giving me the knowledge which I can use to use in practice to help and support children who have experienced loss and trauma. Before this unit I did not think there were other meanings for loss and trauma, I believed it was death and abuse, however I have come to the understanding that parental imprisonment and parental separation and divorce can have just as much impact upon children and their overall development.   This unit has also helped me develop further understanding with correlations which I can use as part of my learning for a module I am currently completing at University. I believe completing this unit I will be able to use this within practice and take a step back to understand and reflect how loss and trauma impacts children and their overall development, and why children may display certain behaviours and emotions …PostGrad student teacher 
I have gained more from this INSET than others I have attended for a number of years; it has been invaluable and has given me lots of things to think about when planning of how to adapt for children in my class - Primary School Teacher
the thoughts of our 1st international student from New Zealand: September 2016 I have identified that I need to use empathy, rather than sympathy, and need to really listen to the child. This includes recognising the body language and facial expressions as well as hearing the words they are saying. I also need to recognise that I may not be the person the child wants to talk to and that they may want to talk to other adults or children.......Overall, the main thing that I have learned from this course is that the range of reasons for children experiencing loss and trauma is very wide and that every child's experience is different. Their understanding of the situation will be different based on their age and other experiences and teachers, social workers and family members need to provide support to these children based on their needs rather than a preconceived idea of what they 'should' need. Teacher
From taking part in this unit I feel that I have ……The nature of this handbook and the construction process has generated multiple opportunities to reflect on all areas of trauma and loss in a young person and child’s life which will enable me to transfer new knowledge and practice into my work. Many children may suffer loss and trauma through divorce, parent imprisonment, and bereavement however although children may share these experiences similarly to one another the internalisation process is strictly limited to the individual uniquely. It is therefore unlikely that any two persons will develop or experience loss and trauma in the same way. For that reason it is unethical, unprofessional and detrimental to treat children with anything less than an individual approach Student and After School Practitioner April 2016
From taking part in this unit I feel that I have ……I greater sense of empathy for children that are going through trauma and a time of loss. It allows me to think more on the behaviour of the children that are around me. Is the behaviour down to unseen circumstance such as death or the breakdown of the family unit or is there another reason for this behaviour more than just assuming it’s because they are just ‘acting the fool’.In addition to be more supportive to those going through these traumatic experiences. To understand this traumatic experience might not just end after a couple of days or weeks but might require ongoing support over months or years.Children are complicated beings. There is no set response that they will follow during times of trauma or loss or the breakdown of their lives. Every single one of them are unique so they react and develop from these experiences very differently from one and other. As a professional it is our role to understand this and to work with the children to give them the best chance of a successful transition. Support worker April 2016