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Trauma Responsive System Framework

A whole of system approach to building the capacity of the Child and Family Support System

The Department of Human Services (DHS) engaged Connected Self, together with Dana Shen Consulting, to help develop capacity for a trauma responsive Child and Family Support System (CFSS). This is one of the priorities identified through the extensive co-design undertaken in 2019 to guide the reform of the existing system.

Taking a whole-of-system approach to building trauma responsive capacity means that all those involved in the system work together to get better at responding to trauma, wherever it presents.

In doing this we also commit to building a system that does not retraumatise, or further traumatise, the children and families who it was created to support.

How does this framework support trauma responsive capacity?

This framework outlines a system-wide approach to building trauma responsive capacity through a set of co-design principles, attributes and indicators, that are designed to guide the thinking and actions required to build a trauma responsive system across all levels of the CFSS.

Levels of the Child and Family Support System

At the heart of this system are children, their families, and communities.  
We also have:

  • those who are working directly with children and families, including social workers, volunteers, youth workers and allied health professionals
  • those who support practitioners and volunteers and represent DHS funded organisations in the CFSS
  • those who provide DHS funding under the CFSS (referred to as the ‘Funder’).iii

Publications and resources

The Trauma Responsive System Framework is also available in PDF and accessible formats.

Further resources – coming soon

An organisational capacity building tool known as the Emerging Minds FOCUS tool is in development.

This tool will be made available to DHS funded child and family support system services to aid understanding of the Trauma Responsive System Framework and inform practical actions to build trauma responsiveness at each level of your organisation.

Page last updated : 29 Apr 2022

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