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Thematic Learning from Case Reviews – Trauma Informed Practice

Date: Friday, 24th May 2024 | Category: Adults, Children

Dudley Safeguarding People Partnership seeks to promote a culture of continuous learning and improvement across the organisations that work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of individuals in Dudley, identifying opportunities to draw on what works well and share best practice through our thematic learning communications.

Following your feedback, we have moved the circulars to every other month. During this month we will focus on a previous theme; Trauma Informed Practice due to findings from our recent reviews.

How do we review multi agency practice and share learning?

DSPP seeks to promote a culture of continuous learning and improvement across the organisations that work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults, identifying opportunities to draw on what works and promote good practice

Our thematic learning plan is one of the ways we share learning to improve practice.

What is trauma?

Trauma is when we experience very stressful, frightening or distressing events that are difficult to cope with or out of our control. It could be one incident, or an ongoing event that happens over a long period of time. Most of us will experience an event in our lives that could be considered traumatic.

Trauma-informed practice is an approach to health and care interventions which is grounded in the understanding that trauma exposure can impact an individual’s neurological, biological, psychological and social development.

The office for Health Improvement and Disparities provide the following guidance to staff: Guidance: Working definition of trauma-informed practice


The following local reviews all have a link to this theme:

Information and resources

West Midlands Trauma Informed Coalition has over 190 leaders across the region representing the public and third sectors.

Aligned under one aim: To see an emotionally safe, trauma informed West Midlands for all.

Coalition activity:

  • Community of Practice, online resource bank and forum – sign up here
  • Trauma Informed workforce learning and development framework – launch date coming soon
  • Trauma informed commissioning guidance – in development

Think Family Hoarding Toolkit, in Dudley we encourage a trauma informed approach to Hoarding – to support this we have developed a Think Family Hoarding Toolkit which can be accessed here, guidance on the pathway is attached.

Developing and Leading Trauma Informed Practice. This briefing summarises evidence to inform the development of trauma-informed organisational and locality approaches and explains why, through using TIAs to re-shape services and practice, we are more likely to be able to engage with people affected by trauma.

Video: Childhood Trauma and the Brain; A general introduction to what happens in the brain after children face traumatic experiences in childhood, like abuse and neglect.

Pre recorded webinars: Violence Reduction Partnership have some webinars on Trauma Informed Practice available here

Pre recorded webinars: Violence Reduction Partnership have some webinars on An Introduction to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma-Informed Practice available here

Procedures and Pathways

Safer7 Briefings

Seven minute briefings are based on a technique borrowed from the FBI. It is based on research, which suggests that seven minutes is an ideal time span to concentrate and learn. Learning for seven minutes is manageable in most services, and learning is more memorable as it is simple and not clouded by other issues and pressures. 

As part of the Thematic Learning from reviews we have promoted our Safer7 briefings which are directly linked to the findings of our reviews:

Trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as harmful or life threatening. While unique to the individual, generally the experience of trauma can cause lasting adverse effects, limiting the ability to function and achieve mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.

View the briefing here

Vicarious trauma or Secondary trauma is when you are affected by something that happens to someone else. This can be especially common in health, social care, police and many other services where we are supporting someone through a difficult episode in their life, seeing their trauma. The risk of secondary trauma is that we then carry this with us into work with other people, with a negative impact on that intervention, and we can continue to acquire secondary trauma. This can lead to us feeling unhappy at work, leaving jobs and roles sooner, as well as physical and psychological effects.

Access the Safer7 briefing here

Adultification refers to the societal perception and treatment of children, particularly minority or marginalised children, as if they were adults. This perception results in expectations, behaviours, and treatment typically reserved for adults being imposed on children, disregarding their developmental stage and individual needs.

View more here

The MCA 2005 applies to everyone over 16 years who may lack capacity to make specific decisions about their life. These decisions can range from simple, everyday things to more complex life changing matters such as where they live or receiving treatment.

The MCA protects the rights of individuals by creating a framework for decision making where someone may lack the mental capacity to make the decision for themselves.

Access the briefing here

Executive function is an umbrella term used to describe a set of mental skills that are controlled by the frontal lobes of the brain. When executive function is impaired, it can inhibit appropriate decision-making and reduce a person’s problem-solving abilities.

Professionals assessing capacity in this patient group are faced with a number of obstacles that make determination of capacity more challenging. This can have significant implications because failing to carry out a sufficiently thorough capacity assessment in these situations can expose a vulnerable person to substantial risk.

View more here

Professional curiosity is having the capacity and communication skill to explore and understand what is happening with a child, adult with care and support needs or their family. It is about enquiring deeper and using proactive questioning and challenge. It is about understanding one’s own responsibility and knowing when to act, rather than making assumptions, or taking things at face value.

View more here

Sharing information is crucial to safeguarding children and adults – poor information sharing is repeatedly highlighted as an issue in CSPRs and SARs. The most important consideration is whether sharing information is likely to safeguard and protect the child or adult with care and support needs.

View more here

Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs. Neglect takes many forms. Neglected children may be left hungry or dirty, without adequate clothing, shelter, supervision, medical or health care. They may be put in danger or not protected from physical or emotional harm. They may not get the love, care, and attention they need from their parents or carers.

This Safer7 gives an overview of Child Neglect

Anybody can be exploited regardless of age, gender or background. The victim may have been exploited even if the activity appears consensual due to his /her specific situation. Exploitation does not always involve physical contact, it can also occur through the use of technology, e.g. as the result of a grooming process which takes place during conversations in chat rooms, or through the use of social media.

This Safer7 provides an overview of Exploitation.

Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) involves forcing or enticing a young person or child to take part in sexual activities. It includes contact and non-contact abuse The abusive sexual activity may involve trickery, coercion, threats and/or aggression. Child Sexual Abuse can happen anywhere and may be online or in person.

View more on CSA here

Learning and Development Opportunities

Trauma Informed Practice

  • To develop understanding of the theory and concepts behind the potential impact of ACEs and trauma across the life course.
  • To understand what trauma-informed and trauma-responsive practice looks, sounds and feels like.
  • To gain a basic understanding into how an organisation can begin a journey towards a trauma-informed organisational culture. The session is structured to return to key ideas and reinforce core messages as take home learning.

Book your place here

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults and when to refer to Adult Social Care

To raise awareness of the different types of abuse regarding adults with care and support needs can experience, who abuses, where abuse can take place and to offer support and guidance for making Safeguarding Adult Referrals, including providing a greater understanding of what is required in a Safeguarding Referral.

Book your place here

Professional Curiosity

This Multi-Agency training course will increase practitioner’s knowledge and confidence in practising ‘respectful uncertainty’ by thinking outside the box’, beyond their usual professional role, and considering individual’s and families’ circumstances holistically. It will also be an opportunity to explore how as professionals differences of opinion, concerns and issues that arise for practitioners at work and are resolved as effectively and swiftly as possible

Reserve your space here

Exploitation – Harm Outside the Home

This is a one-day course that aims to develop practitioner skills, offers ideas to enhance practice and introduce practical ways of working with children and young people who are at risk of exploitation.

Book your place here


This level 1 package has been designed for multi-agency staff and volunteers who have contact with children and young people who July have safeguarding needs. It is important that everyone is able to recognise concerns around safeguarding and how to raise a concern so that appropriate actions can be taken.

Book on here

To raise awareness of the different types of abuse adults with care and support needs can experience, who abuses, where abuse can take place and how to report concerns.

View more here

This course is linked to the ‘DSPP Support Level Guidance and Framework’ which provides the model of integrated working and gives practical guidance on making decisions across service thresholds for practitioners working in Dudley.

Access the eLearning here

This training has been designed to support your understanding of Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding.

The knowledge that you will get from this course will help you understand the how to help people who may lack mental capacity and the implications of Deprivation of Liberty. It will help you to ensure that you are safeguarding their rights.

View more here