Add the following to the resource materials you have already received about talking with children, young people and families about the Coronavirus. (See our Special Edition on 17th March 2020). While much of the material already sent to you has focussed on the needs of children and young people generally, this article specifically addresses the needs of children and young people who have already experienced trauma and may be living in settings away from their own families.
Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Click here to access extremely useful guidelines, recommendations and resources provided by child trauma experts at Child Trends and the Child Trauma Training Centre at the University of Massachusetts. The advice provided is of direct relevance to the approaches you take in caring for the children and young people who are receiving your organisation’s services.
Read and observe the recommendations made about practical ways in which you can support and protect the emotional well-being of children and young people during the pandemic. This includes advice about:
- Understanding that the reactions of children and young people to the pandemic may vary
- Ensuring the presence of a sensitive and responsive caregiver
- Social distancing should not mean social isolation
- Providing age-appropriate information
- Creating a safe physical and emotional environment by practising the 3R’s: Reassurance, Routines and Regulation
- Keeping children and young people busy
- Increasing the self-efficacy of children and young people
- Creating opportunities for caregivers (which may mean YOU) to take care of themselves
- Seeking professional help if children or young people show signs of trauma that do not resolve relatively quickly
- Emphasizing strengths, hopes and positivity.
Check out the links to other resource materials, many of which have already been posted on PeakCare’s website.
Make sure that your organisation’s ‘contingency and continuity plans’ address how you are talking with, and caring for, children and young people during this difficult time. This includes identifying the persons who will initiate the conversations you should be having with children and young people, remembering that children and young people will often initiate these discussions themselves whenever and with whomever they choose. It’s essential therefore that all of your staff and carers are well-equipped with the knowledge to respond to them and are comfortable in doing so.
Share your resources and tips
Thank you to all who have been forwarding to us resource materials you are happy to share with others. Please feel free to forward these resources or tips about approaches you are finding useful to Anushri Bellary so that they can also be posted on PeakCare’s website.