Practical ways to help young children through trauma; a guide for carers
Children that have been through trauma need a safe and calm environment to recover and work through their feelings. As their carer, there are many ways you can help support them through their trauma, particularly by staying calm and positive and listening to their feelings. Here, we’ve come up with a few more practical ways you can help young children through their trauma.
1] Return to routines. Returning to a regular routine is important for young children after they’ve experienced trauma. A regular routine of meals and chores can help children and families get back a sense of their everyday life. The predictability of this routine is reassuring to young children.
2] Offer to listen. Young children dealing with trauma will be learning how to deal with strong feelings and will need your love and understanding to work through them. Reassure them that they are safe and that the danger has passed. Take their concerns and feelings seriously and let them know that you are there for them and would like to hear how things are for them, but don’t pressure them to think or talk about their trauma if they are unwilling or not ready to do so.
3] Let them play out their feelings. Young children often find it helpful to draw pictures of their trauma or to play out the event with toys. Let them know that thinking about their trauma is normal, but you can also guide their games or drawing away from the trauma. For example, if they are drawing pictures of houses being flooded, you could guide them to draw pictures of houses being protected from floods.
The Wishing Well foundation
The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.
The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.
The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.
The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.
Support the Wishing Well
The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW. Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis. The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:
- Funding availability
- The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
- The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
- Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person
The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information: