Trauma-informed care (TIC) is critical in institutional settings to address not only the trauma of experiences that lead children to be enrolled into alternative care, such as childcare institutions (CCIs), but also the inherent trauma that comes from a child being separated from her or his family. This article looks at how Miracle Foundation applies principles of TIC at every stage: from intake and care at a CCI while awaiting placement, to preparing children and families for transition, and finally to supporting post-placement.
Following a brief background of the trauma surrounding institutional settings and its damage on children’s development drawn from existing literature, the article defines the principles of TIC: safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness and empowerment. The narrative then illustrates how these principles are applied with children, families and CCI staff through capacity building, access to counselling and mental health resources and dedicated guidance by Miracle team members throughout the childcare and placement process. Training government officials through a train-the-trainer model equips them to practise a strength-based approach with children and families. This also positions us for a systematic change when it comes to developing all members of the social workforce through system strengthening.
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This article is part of the special issue of the Institutionalised Children Explorations and Beyond journal