The Department of Social Sciences at Sunderland University has launched online training for those working with, parenting, or otherwise supporting children who have experienced loss and trauma (CEL&T). The training is aimed at those working in social work, education and healthcare as well as foster carers, adopters, kinship carers and others. The units are affordable, can be done at home and can be clocked up as Continuing Professional Development.
My book The Unofficial Guide to Adoptive Parenting is the basis for the three units I’ve produced. They are (readers will not be surprised to learn) focused on the messy, lived realities of parenting children who have experienced loss and trauma and the approaches and techniques that I have found the most effective. I’ve worked hard to make the training fresh and practical and I’ve woven in the ways in which children and families may best be supported. The units all contain written material, links to other resources and are voiced by me (I can confirm that listening to one’s own voice is up there on the list of Most Excruciating).
There are currently nine units available from a variety of ‘service users’ and professionals including Dr Wendy Thorley, Stephanie Hunter, David Harrop and Voices Making Choices and there are more to come.
As well as it’s development of online training, Sunderland University has hosted two conferences to date which focus on the voices of children who have experienced loss and trauma and ways in which services could better tailor support by listening to these voices. Another conference is being planned for next year. There are many individuals and organisations working to improve services and there is of course much more to be done and many obstacles blocking the way. I’m proud to be a part of Sunderland University’s programme. It’s rolled up it’s sleeves and got on with it, and I like that approach.