National Child Protection Week 2023 – Protecting Children from the Lifelong Effects of Childhood Trauma

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As South Africa commemorates National Child Protection Week from 29 May to 5 June, a lot of focus will be placed on ways we can work to protect children from harm.

While these conversations are crucial, the sad reality is that even the most loving parents or caregivers cannot always protect children from experiences that may be traumatic. Loved ones may pass away, parents file for divorce, classmates become bullies, or our families become victims of crime. Hardships like these are almost unavoidable in the course of a lifetime. But just because they cannot be avoided does not mean that they cannot be recovered from. 

While social workers and psychologists do incredibly important work in supporting children who go through difficult times, the reality is that there simply are not enough of these practitioners in South Africa to support all of the children who need intervention.

This is the reason why HealingLeaves focuses on educating parents, foster parents, teachers and other community workers with the knowledge they need in order to better support the children in their care, and to achieve this we created the H.E.L.P – Four Stages for Supporting Traumatised Children programme.  While the programme is not meant to replace or replicate psychological or mental health treatment, we believe that empowering caregivers with practical knowledge can enable them to support children and help them to heal and move on from difficult experiences.

This training programme provides in-depth knowledge about the causes of trauma, the effects of trauma as a full-body experience, the signs and symptoms of trauma in children of various ages, as well as practical coping skills to help children deal with the difficulties they experience. 

It is important that all adults involved in the lives of children realise that they have a significant role to play in helping children learn how to become resilient and deal with trauma in a healthy way. Each one of us, no matter our place in a child’s life, can have a big impact on their emotional well-being and mental health.

This National Child Protection Week, HealingLeaves encourage all caregivers to educate themselves about childhood trauma and the ways in which they can help children recover and thrive after traumatic events. As part of our activities during this week we are also offering to conduct the H.E.L.P – Four Stages for Supporting Traumatised Children training at no cost to any interested schools, NGOs or organisations that work with children in the province of Gauteng.

For more information about the H.E.L.P – Four Stages for Supporting Traumatised Children program, please visit www.healingleaves.co.za

For inquiries please contact:

Marthé Kotze-de Beer

Director

HealingLeaves

marthe@healingleaves.co.za

073 391 4774

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