Trauma aware practice and strengths-based working: benefits of outreach training

Briony Williamson has been working in the Learning and Accreditation team at SafeLives for five years, training on our Idva, young people’s practitioner and outreach courses. Here she talks about the benefits of our upcoming Outreach Expert training course taking place in May for anyone working in the domestic abuse sector.

Last week I was back in the training room delivering the first block of our Foundation training for Outreach Workers. This is the second time we have run this course, following a successful pilot last year. Although we originally developed this training with the needs of those doing outreach work in mind, what has become clear since the pilot is that this course can help to develop practice for any role in the sector. It covers trauma-aware and responsive practice, strengths-based working, resilience building and holistic needs-based support planning, which are all incredibly useful skills for anyone working with those affected by domestic abuse, regardless of their job title.

This year, we are really excited to be working with expert specialist services such as Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA), Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) and the Domestic Abuse Money & Education (DAME) project, to ensure that we are giving the most up-to-date information on supporting clients around complicated issues such as housing and economic abuse.

I spoke recently to a learner who attended last year’s pilot. I asked her how she felt the training had influenced her practice in the year since she began that course and this is what she told me:

The whole course was fantastic. In particular, I found the trauma work really useful and I have used a lot of the material when working with my clients. It is important that they have an understanding of the impact of trauma on the brain.

The way the information and materials were presented was extremely easy to understand and it helped me on a personal and professional level. The information provided around legal orders has also helped me offer a more productive service to my clients; within a week I had supported a client to remove her ex-partner off her tenancy.

I came away from the course feeling much more confident. I had always provided a professional service to my clients but after the course I feel that my support is more comprehensive, allowing me to think outside of the box when presented with complicating factors. I always think back to session discussions and refer to my handbook.

We have the 4-day Expert version of this course running in May, for those who have previously completed one of our 12-day courses, and there are still subsidised spaces available. For any Idvas, Ypvas or other practitioners looking for CPD to enhance their practice, I would really recommend they consider this.

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