Training programme for caregivers held

The participants

The participants

A three-day social workers and caregivers training programme aimed at equipping participants with trauma-informed care and supplemental resources, to aid them in dealing with juveniles who have been traumatised, has ended at the Osu Children’s Home in Accra.

The programme, organised by the Charlene’s Angels Foundation, a US-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) brought together about 40 participants drawn from the Osu Children’s Home, Boys and Girls Juvenile Correction Centre, La, Neighbourhood Early Childhood Development Centre, Madina Day Care Centre, Echoing Hills Village, La General Hospital and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital among others.

Participants were taken through topics such as the definition of traumatic stress, types of traumatic stress, how children respond to trauma, therapeutic crisis intervention, effects of trauma reminders, transcending trauma and role of caregivers,  managing emotional hotspots, understanding aggressive behaviours, immediate response priorities, verbal strategies and lifespan interventions, among others.

Speaking at the end of the programme, founder of the Charlene’s Angels Foundation, Mia Henson, stated that children with trauma are very unique people who should be handled with extra care in other not to escalate their plight.

“The way one handles a child with traumatic conditions can make and unmake the child in question and one thing that social workers need to understand with children with trauma is that it can stagnate the child’s mental development, preventing them from developing into full potential adults.”

According to Mrs Henson, a social worker and a graduate of the Morgan State University in the United States, she decided to organise the programme as a result of an encounter she had while in the country some years ago with a social worker who vented her spleen on a trauma kid in her presence.

“That experience gave me a whole different view of what needs to be done to equip social workers and caregivers in our community to enable them to transform trauma patients rather than worsen their plight.”

The training programme, a community-based one, according to her was meant to give social workers and caregivers tools to enable them to feel comfortable in stepping up what they will normally do in engaging traumatised children,” because there are so many forms of trauma such as acute trauma or chronic trauma which cause problems psychologically.”

“I believe as professional social workers and caregivers, we need to dig down to the root of  problems of trauma patients and help find solutions to it and also there is the need for an open dialogue in the communities with the people who handle such children.”

Manager of the Osu Children’s Home, Madam Christiana Addo, thanked the organisers for the programme which she noted had been beneficial and enlightened participants as well as equipped them with the necessary information on how to handle a child who enters a facility with trauma.

By Raymond Ackumey


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