Mapping Of Professional Qualification Routes and Continuous Professional Learning Opportunities relating to Psychological Trauma, in the Children and Families Workforce

Commissioned as part of the National Trauma Transformation Programme, this research aimed to map the learner journeys of five sectors of the Children and Families workforce including School Nursing, Health Visiting, Children and Families Social Work, Residential Childcare and Secure Care.

2 Introduction

2.1 This research was commissioned by the Scottish Government, as part of the National Trauma Transformation Programme, The aim of this study was to map the learner journeys, including professional qualification routes and Continuous Professional Learning opportunities (CPL), of a sub-section of the Children and Families workforce. Within these learner journeys, the study explored the extent to which learning around psychological trauma was already included within learning journeys, or where there is potential for the National Trauma Transformation Programme (NTTP) ‘Level 1: Trauma Informed’ and ‘Level 2: Trauma Skilled’ practice level resources to be further incorporated.

2.2 The Scottish Government’s ambition, shared with COSLA and many other partners, is for a trauma-informed workforce and services across Scotland, which can help support children, young people and adults affected by psychological trauma by reducing barriers to accessing services and preventing any further harm or distress. Trauma-informed services are built on safe and trusted relationships which offer choice and empowerment and are actively informed by people with lived experience. This is supported by the National Trauma Transformation Programme (NTTP). The learning resources provided through the NTTP are based on the Transforming Psychological Trauma: A Knowledge and Skills Framework for the Scottish workforce (2017).

2.3 The five sectors of the Children and Families workforce which were included in the scope for this work are listed and described below.

Health Visitors

2.4 Health Visitors play a vital role in supporting children and families in the first few years of a child's life. Over the course of 2 pre-birth and 9 post-birth home visits, they support new parents and children, which includes a continuous assessment and identification of a family's mental health and wellbeing needs.

School Nurses

2.5 School Nurses work with children between the ages of 5 and 19. They focus on prevention, early intervention, and support for the most vulnerable children over five years who have been identified as being at risk by health visiting services. They concentrate primarily on ten priority areas under the overall headings of vulnerable children and families, mental health and wellbeing, and risk-taking behaviour.

Children and Families Social Workers

2.6 Children and Families Social Workers support individuals and their families across diverse settings, with the aim to promote the wellbeing and protection of children and young people. Children and Families Social Work is a hugely diverse area of practice, in which social workers can be working with children and/or young people across a wide age range, who are often facing multiple social and psychological transitions and within varied family and community contexts. They work with the complex issues facing children and their families using strengths-based approaches, balancing rights and risks, and taking appropriate action to protect and safeguard children and young people (SSSC, 2022a).

Residential Childcare workers

2.7 Residential childcare workers support children and young people living in a Residential care home. Residential care homes offer children and young people a safe place to live together with other children and young people away from home. Residential care provides accommodation, support and, in some cases, education (though in most cases, the child is educated at a school nearby). Residential childcare workers may support, care and nurture children and young people to ensure they are safe, loved and get the most out of life (Care Inspectorate, 2022).

Secure Care workers

2.8 Secure care workers support children living in Secure accommodation. Secure accommodation is an intensive form of residential care that restricts the freedom of children under the age of 18. It is for the small number of children who may be a significant risk to themselves, or others in the community. Secure accommodation aims to provide intensive support, care and education to keep these children safe, meet the extremely high levels of need, risks and vulnerability experienced, and achieve better outcomes. Secure care workers may complete a diversity of tasks including; assessing and reviewing the needs and progress of children, providing advice and intensive support, understand the children’s physical, mental, emotional and wellbeing needs to support their development, as well as talking and supporting children’s families to encourage family connections and provide advise on how to nurture the children’s needs.

2.9 While all five of these areas of work require distinct skills and knowledge, due to significant similarities between learner journeys, for the purposes of this study Health Visitor and School Nurses, as well as Residential Care and Secure Care workers have been grouped, with their respective learner journeys analysed as one.

2.10 It is also important to note that while the NTTP Knowledge and Skills Framework (2017) has practice level resources spanning four levels (Informed, Skilled, Enhanced and Specialist), the scope of this study was only to examine these learner journeys against Levels 1: Trauma Informed Practice and Level 2: Trauma Skilled Practice.



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