Trauma Informed Approach

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Go! Youth Trust works with a diverse range of young people, from all backgrounds, cultures, faiths and experiences. As a result is vital that we adapt our way of working. In our commitment to provide holistic care for young people and their families, Go! Youth Trust is taking steps towards becoming trauma-informed, to ensure every interaction with our charity is as positive and transformative as possible.

What does it mean to be ‘trauma-informed’?

As a trauma informed organisation we recognise and appreciate the widespread and extensive impact on young people to shape policies, practices and culture.  We work to ensure that we are sensitive and responsive to the needs of young people who have experienced trauma in all of its forms.

How do we do this?

Our journey to being “trauma-informed” will never be complete but we continue to work to understand how we can support young people to the best of our ability.  Some of the ways which we work to support young people who have experienced trauma include…

Creating Safe Environments

We want young people to feel safe when they are with us.  Safety is a core value at Go! Youth Trust.  We work to ensure that our young people’s physical and emotional safety is paramount.  This could mean establishing clear boundaries, providing safe physical spaces and promoting a culture of respect and trust.

Building Trusting Relationships

Developing relationships based on trust and respect is crucial.  We work hard to ensure we are non-judgemental, empathetic and reliable.  Only then do we see young people feel safe enough to share their experiences.

Understanding Trauma

Our whole team are trained to understand trauma.  From staff to volunteers to trustees… from those answering phones to cleaning kitchens to delivering at the front line… we ensure that everyone understands the prevalence and impact of trauma.

Empowering Individuals

Part of our DNA is empowering young people by giving them a voice and control over how our charity runs.  This feeling of control is something that is often lost due to trauma.  We involve young people in the decision making process in small ways such as giving them a say in how sessions are run to big ways such as running youth and programme committees.

Strengths Based Approach

How things start have a big impact on how they will end.  We start with where young people are, not where we want them to be.  Every young person has something that they do well, whether that is a skill, a unique area of knowledge or something else.  We focus on an individuals strengths and resilience moving forward from there.

Working Collaboratively

We know that we are amazing at lots of things.  Part of being “trauma-informed” is knowing that some other partners are better at supporting some young people’s needs.  That’s we ensure we are also working collaboratively with a range of partners including education, social work, health professionals and other third sector partners.  We work hard to ensure that young people always retain control and that any partnership work is smooth and positive for the young person.

Self Care for Youth Workers (and all workers!)

None of us are superheroes, and even superheroes have their hard days.  We ensure that all of our team have the space, resources and time to devote to self care.  This means ensuring that there are times in the week and in the year to enjoy rest and restoration as a team.  We also make sure that our team have times for rest and restoration as individuals too.

Continuous Learning and Development

We are not finished learning.  We are not finished improving.  We ensure that all of our team have the opportunity to engage with external training and conferences so that we can improve our offering to young people who have experienced trauma.  We also build in regular check ins as a team and as individuals to explore what further learning we need and where we need to explore change.