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'Being me' through adversity and trauma

Everyone will have experienced and been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing restrictions is different ways. Some families will have enjoyed extended time together. Some may be affected by financial hardship, have experienced bereavement or domestic violence, and the challenges of being separated from their usual support networks. Young children will recognise that this has been an unprecedented time. They may be concerned about the news they have heard, or be worried about family members who are keyworkers. They may have experienced frustration at the limited time they have been able to leave their homes, or their limited contact with their friends and extended family. While they may have enjoyed extra time with their immediate family, this too may have been different to their previous experience if their parents are now working from home. As part of our approach to supporting children's health and wellbeing Realising the Ambition: Being Me encourages us to take account of the prevalence of adverse and traumatic experiences in childhood and understand the impact of these. Considering support through a trauma informed lens can contribute to a greater understanding of the reasons underlying the challenges some children have with relationships, learning and behaviour. An ELC setting or school ethos that embraces an understanding of what has happened to a child is far more likely to offer supportive interventions that avoid exacerbating stress and trauma. Integrating trauma informed approaches into existing practice can contribute to the positive outcomes for children and their families Adversity and trauma come in many forms and impact each child and family differently. High quality early years provision can however reduce the impact of adversity on children. When children experience consistent, positive relationships with key adults, they are more likely to grow up resilient. Children in their early years returning to ELC or school are likely to need additional social and emotional support. Secure, nurturing spaces and trauma informed practitioners will be critical in supporting this transition. The resources below are a sample of those available to help develop understanding of trauma informed, relationship-based practice and nurturing approaches. These have an understanding of attachment and child development at their centre. Not all of these have been developed specifically for the early years sector but practitioners are encouraged to reflect on the content and consider the implications for their own setting. Realising the Ambition: Being Me recognises that to care for and support children and families, practitioners have to first take care of themselves. This Wakelet therefore includes some resources to support staff wellbeing. While every effort has been made to quality assure the links below, Education Scotland is not responsible for external websites. Websites and resources linked from this Wakelet have been selected to spark discussion and illustrate examples of practice - inclusion on this collection is not an endorsement.