The vision of our multi agency partnership in Cheshire West and Chester is for
a ‘One Service Approach’ that is strong and preventative, embedding a practice
and culture that is Trauma Informed to support improved outcomes for children,
families, and adults.
By pledging your commitment, you are supporting a new culture of practice across our partnership that will:
- The impact of trauma for children, families, and adults
- All behaviour is a form of communication
- The impact of secondary and vicarious trauma on the workforce
- Using ‘Our Shared language’ that is trauma informed
- Taking a ‘Think Family’ and person-centred approach
- Committing to Multi Agency Group Supervision and Learning Conversations
- Ensure organisational responses are Trauma Informed, and shaped by the voice of children and adults who access our services
- Ensuring we enable children, families, and adults to tell their story once
- Understand triggers of re-traumatisation and work in a way that prevents further harm.
- To support recovery from trauma through the importance of trusted relationships that enable collaboration, choice, empowerment, safety, and trust
- Use motivational interviewing to build self-efficacy and confidence
Early Help and Prevention work with children and families who have experienced a broad range of difficulties that need support and interventions. We want to work with families in this new, integrated and targeted way that is Trauma Informed, taking into consideration their lived experiences, trauma histories and understanding their voice. In working in this way we are ensuring families are empowered, feel safe and build trusting and collaborative relationships, to support lasting solutions, improve resilience emotional health and wellbeing.
How we will do this
As a Service we will ensure that the strategies that underpin our work take account of the principles of Our Way of Working. In doing this the whole service will take a trauma informed approach to working with families, listening to them and getting to know them as individuals and not just ‘a case’. We are changing our language to reflect this. We will continue to take a Think Family approach and we recognise that one size does not fit all. Motivational interviewing is the vehicle we will adopt to engage meaningfully with families in change. It means children and families are able to:
• Tell their story once
• Have a one-page profile
• Ensure the child/young person is the focus
• Brings all services together working with them to make decisions
• Ensures clear communication and that we see the whole picture
Written recordings of our work will reflect the Our Way of Working approach, using trauma informed language.
The workforce will continue to utilise multi-agency group supervision and learning conversations.
Ongoing staff training and development are critical to the embedding of the principals of Our Way of Working and we will ensure that the appropriate opportunities are provided to all staff teams in Early Help and Prevention.
Children’s Social Care (CSC) in Cheshire West and Chester are committed to aligning our practice to Our Way of Working (OWOW), seeking to taking forward trauma informed practice throughout the work we do with children and families, seeking to be trauma responsive in our approach.
Our vision is for Trauma Informed Practice to be evidently considered across all our work with Children and Families; being identifiable in both culture, practice and recording. We utilise an Operational OWOW group to support the drive to continue to embed and develop OWOW throughout our practice with children and families.
OWOW is the golden thread throughout our CSC vision to “Enable Practice, Empower People and Deliver Progress” – working with children and families to improve outcomes. We reflect and measure the impact of our work through quality assurance and family feedback, which are being developed to be written in trauma informed language.
We have develop the 7C’s key principles for Children’s Social Care in seeking to embed trauma informed practice, that has been developed collaboratively with the workforce and supports consideration of the following four key questions in our interactions with children and families; “What does this mean for the child/family? What is the impact? How does this inform risk? How is this reflected in our planning?”. Our priority over the next 12 months is to launch this principles document, then consistently utilise and embed these approaches, alongside our operational group leading delivery against our trauma informed recording plan.
As a Virtual School , we are committed to West Cheshire Children’s Trust and ‘Our Way of Working’ which is about developing a common and consistent approach to working with families in a trauma informed way, using shared language. Our main focus is to support the outcomes of Children Looked After and we also work with partner agencies to promote the education of Children Previously Looked After and those with a Social Worker. Our Way of Working is embedded within the Virtual School’s Business Plan – our priority is to ensure that all Personal Education Plan (PEP) documents are written to the child or young person using trauma informed language throughout. The Virtual School has developed one page profiles for children making key educational transitions, these are guided by a person centred approach and use of trauma informed language.
Through a trauma informed lens, we want Weaverham High School to be a vibrant, thriving and successful school where every member of our community feels valued, safe and supported to ensure they surpass their potential. We celebrate uniqueness and see individuals. We understand that our pupils have hopes and dreams, challenges and barriers and it is our privilege to celebrate their worth and their potential. We want every child to enjoy their own journey of discovery, acquire a thirst for knowledge, creativity and imagination and develop a love for their learning. We want pupils to leave our school not just with qualifications showing their academic success, but also with the capacity to think clearly and deeply, a desire to act with integrity and to show kindness and empathy to others, and with the character and leadership experience they need to thrive in the world. We will work tirelessly to ensure individual barriers are overcome, taking a trauma informed approach through our work and the language we us so pupils are challenged and supported in equal measure. Our desire is to nurture talent, ability and ambition with energy, creativity, determination, relentless kindness and high expectations. When we combine such a desire with our ethos of Safe.Ready.Respect you will thrive in our care.
We are embedding a trauma informed practice through our policies, producers, recruitment, to support our, pupils staff and the community we serve.
In our paediatric department, we are ensuring that all staff are trained in Our Way of Working and have a trauma informed approach. We consider emotional wellbeing when we see children and their families and try to create a calm, reassuring environment for consultations. We will communicate in a non-judgemental way and endeavour to address parental concerns, whilst reflecting on the impact that trauma may have had on their lived experience. As professionals, we will show empathy and respect to our patients, in line with the principles of a trauma informed practice of: safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness and empowerment, we work together as a team with colleagues and families to support the child’s needs.
The Child & Educational Psychology Service currently regard ourselves as trauma responsive and seek to further develop a trauma informed approach into our:
• Practice - promoting and modelling Trauma Informed language, reframing as required. We will focus on using Motivational Interviewing techniques throughout our interactions, practicing as much as is possible with each other
• Systems - by providing further opportunities for colleagues to connect to protect against the possible impact of vicarious trauma and of current working in a more isolated context
• Processes - by completing our reflective actions around trauma informed assessment and using this information to review practice, ensuring that CYP voice informs our activities, recording and action planning.
Our aim is for all children, families and colleagues in school to:
be able to recognise and regulate feelings;
be connected with positive and attuned relationships;
be ready to learn;
be supported in a Trauma Informed way where Motivational Interviewing enables us to find clear ways forward.
Staff and governors currently rate our school as working between Trauma Aware and Trauma Sensitive. We use the Audit Tool to identify our current position and to identify key focus areas for the academic year. Our aims now are to move to being consistently Trauma Sensitive and to Develop our Trauma Responsive work.
It was agreed that we would annotate our Mental Health Overview with the names of staff members who act as champions for each child and work towards everyone having an assigned champion. In our school we would expect everyone to champion the children in their care, i.e., the SENDCO to champion all children on the SEN register, a class teacher to champion every child in their class, but we also recognise that some children benefit from having an additional champion who knows their journey well and can effectively support them and their family whenever the need arises. We are ensuring we help one another to explore our use of language in day-to-day interactions as well as in our written reports and records. As a staff group we chose to work on developing our safe space work, our empathetic listening and motivational interviewing skills and to be mindful of the fact that Covid affects us all in different ways.
At Archers Brook School we recognise the importance of building safe, supportive relationships with the children, young peoples and families that we work with. By applying the principles of Our Way of Working we celebrate our settings ability to apply a trauma informed approach.
Through Thinking Family, it is our intention that our core offer:
• Promotes resilience and strength in families and individuals
• Ensures all members of our school community are enabled to make and experience change for the better in all that they do, from their individual starting points
• That change is a sustainable and empowering experience.
We feel strongly that through applying our shared understanding of trauma informed practice during all levels of interaction at Archers Brook School, by truly considering what has happened, we can only then consider what next as a shared experience. We do not make promises we cannot keep, we do not act in locum for other agencies but with this set of standards we act in tandem with professionals and with our children, young people and families to create or signpost targeted support.
Victoria Road Primary School has been an advocate for Trauma Informed Practice (TIP) and are embedding it as part of the school culture and ethos, seen through our relationship/behaviour policy and approach in working with staff, pupils and families, since being part of the Cheshire West and Chester TIP COVID Recovery plan training in 2020. We believe that being trauma informed has the potential to impact positively upon mental health and wellbeing of all in our school community and have therefore made TIP a priority in the way that we work together in our school and with wider agencies and supports our stragic aims of improving basic skills in KS1 and mathematics in KS2.
We believe that long term negative mental health problems for children (our future adults) can be alleviated by TIP within schools and that TIP can address the negative mental and physical impact that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) have on children. Our aim is to ensure that our school’s daily TIP enables all children to build positive relationships and and supports recovery from trauma experiences. This will consequently address the gaps that we see in pupil attainment, as the child will be in a better position to learn as their need for ‘Felt Safety’ (Bomber, 2021) will have been addressed.
Truama Informed Practice is also expected for all relationships in schools, not just ‘school adult’ to ‘child’ or ‘family member’, but also between the employees in schools and between services. This ensures that ‘Psychological Safety’ (Edmondson, 2019) will be achieved. Our aim is that this dual approach will impact positively upon Mental Health and Wellbeing within our school.
The headteacher and Family support worker have completed Our Way of Working training. We have also completed the Trauma Informed Continuum for Schools and used the accompanying One Page audit and self-assessed our school as ‘Trauma Responsive’ and identified whole school strengths and next steps. We have reviewed our behaviour policy and now have a Relationship policy in place of this and have removed shaming behaviour management systems. Children are always involved in reviewing our antibully policy annually.
As a result, our priorities for the coming year are to:
• We aim for all staff to use trauma informed language in discussing, reporting and recording information about children and families and will monitor and report on this.
• We will ensure that Governors are training in TIP and as part of the ongoing cycle of policy review, Governors will begin to ensure that all school policies are written in a trauma informed way.
• All Teachers, TAs and admin will complete motivational interviewing ensuring this is a whole school approach.
The Autism Service exists to improve outcomes for children and young people
experiencing social communication difficulties in mainstream schools within Cheshire west and Chester. Our Way of Working is supporting the work we already do which is person-centred in its approach, looks beyond behaviour to its underlying causes and is responsive to the voice of children, young people and their families/ carers and those working with them. We seek to develop and strengthen our practice in response to evidence-based approaches, and Our Way of Working fits well with this.
We are continually striving to offer the best service we can in a way that is informed, empathetic and empowering to the individuals and organisations we work with. Effective multi-agency working is essential to this, and we have welcomed the joined up and consistent approach that Our Way of Working has promoted.
We are currently developing the integration of motivational interviewing into our practice through the development of service resources and systems. We offer training to schools on pupil and parent voice and much of our work with schools involves reframing perspectives and language around the children and young people we have been asked to support. We use pupil and parent voice at consultation and review. We aim to build capacity in schools so that the approaches developed during our short-term involvement are continued.
Our desire is to see people’s lives changed for the better and for the communities and environments that they live and work in to become more inclusive and accepting.
At Cuddington, we use a common language around responding to children's behaviours. This language is rooted in understanding each child's journey through their childhood. All children go to school with an 'invisible backpack,' filled with varied emotions and experiences. Adult practitioners work with the children in their care to identify any emotions and experiences which may impact on their academic outcomes. Through our curriculum links and behaviour strategies, we will develop children's emotional and social strengths.
The common language we use with our children will also be used with our families - non - judgemental, listening to understand and to develop our motivational interviewing skills to secure positive relationships with all parents and carers.
Our mission says ‘I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full’ (John 10:10)
We believe that every student here can achieve great things wherever their skills and talents lie.
Students tell us that the time they spend here is very special. Within our caring community new skills are learnt, knowledge increased, new friends made and futures planned. When students look back before they leave us to go to university, college, an apprenticeship or employment, they are frequently amazed at what they have achieved and how they have developed as a confident
Ellesmere Port Catholic High School aims to provide a Roman Catholic education in an environment within which all members of the community are encouraged to develop their spiritual, moral, academic and physical potential, based on the teachings of Jesus.
We will strive to:
Be a welcoming community
Promote the dignity and worth of each person
Recognise and celebrate achievement
Foster an understanding that each individual has a contribution to make on a daily basis
Provide opportunities for all to participate in prayer and worship
Share in the life of the local and wider community
Promote justice and peace
Encourage tolerance, patience, forgiveness and trust
Have a genuine concern for others through empathy, co-operation and understanding
Support those in need
Do our best
Promote British values
To support our values and to ensure our young people have every opportunity to thrive, the culture we promote is one of kindness. Our Trauma-informed approach ensures every child and family are known and understood. EPCHS staff break down every barrier to achieve success, whatever that success looks like for individual students and families. EPCHS have a team of staff who drive the trauma informed culture through every level of our school, and that is why the young people say EPCHS is 'family'.
We are self-assessing our community at working within the Responsive band of the Trauma Informed Continuum for Schools with strengths particularly noted in the audit related to Quality First Teaching and Behaviour.
We continue to build on the approach we have taken to date to embed the use of trauma informed language throughout school as well as in all our documentation e.g. in our school policies such as behaviour, LGBQT+, anti- bullying and anti-harassment and in how we conduct ourselves.
Our next steps for this year and into next are: Ensuring our school environment is trauma informed, avoiding re-traumatisation, all staff use trauma informed language in all conversations with parents and pupils and ensuring that a no blame approach is embedded. We are passionate and committed to staff working in a trauma aware/informed manner and developing skills further for staff in motivational interviewing.
At Lache Primary school we are currently embedding a Trauma Informed approach across the school, as we feel this is vital in order for our children and families to be supported, overcome and recover from their experiences of trauma which has impacted on their mental health, physical health and social and emotional relationships both within school and wider community.
The long term impact of adverse childhood experiences cannot be underestimated and it is our aim to support those who need help in overcoming these and aid moving towards having positive mental health. Through the use of a shared language, the development of positive relationships and a shared understanding of how to support our families in the recovery from trauma experiences, we strive towards a fully embedded trauma informed approach.
Both the Headteacher and Family Support Worker have accessed Our Way of Working training along with trauma informed training, which has been cascaded down to all staff. The one page audit has allowed us to identify areas that need development. Currently, safe spaces for the children are being improved upon, a shared language is being embedded, and training for motivational interviewing techniques is being deployed. Ours aim is to make a trauma informed approach an integral part of our day to day practice when supporting our children, families and our community.
Horn’s Mill have been totally on board since the first meetings regarding Our Way of Working in Cheshire West, and are passionate about being part of this authority wide approach. We have seen significant success in improving children’s experiences of school, both pastorally and academically by embedding the approaches and shared language across the school. Some of our most vulnerable children have responded extremely positively over time, to enable them to cope better with school to the point of flourishing. Our senior leadership team are dedicated to using the OWOW methods to support staff well-being and to ensure healthy bodies and minds. Across the board, staff use a trauma informed approach when communicating with families and other agencies, resulting in the development of positive and effective working relationships, that ultimately benefit the children in our care.
Through embedding the trauma-informed approach over the last 4 years, we have gradually developed a culture of deep trust, safety and respect throughout our school family. This approach has taken time, patience and investment in quality training for all staff. Coaching trauma-informed language, techniques and approaches has developed a body of staff who are fully equipped to support any level of social or emotional needs in children and the behaviours that result from these needs. The outcomes and impacts have fundamentally improved the culture of our school, so EVERY child feels well supported and able to cope and EVERY member of staff feels valued and included. This has, in turn enabled children to make real academic progress.
The impacts of integrating this approach are:
• a calm, relaxed school environment that feels safe,
• a high rate of attendance and low persistent absence,
• no fixed term exclusions or permanent exclusions,
• supportive parents who work with us to understand their child's needs,
• happy staff with high levels of wellbeing and low absence,
• children whose behaviour is excellent and goes above and beyond what is expected,
• a reduction in the need for team teach,
• children with significant trauma/ ACEs are flourishing, feel belonging and are making academic progress.
The Children, Young People and Families Care Group Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust (West Cheshire) are committed to the Our Way of Working Model and ethos, embedding trauma informed practice within all elements of care. The Care Group recognises the impact trauma can have on the health and wellbeing of Children, Young People and Families and pledge to ensure that all members of the workforce are trained and work in a trauma informed way, delivering safe, effective and compassionate care through a think family approach.
We pledge to continue to deliver and develop services through a trauma informed lens to reduce the impact of re-traumatisation by valuing and learning from lived experience utilising a strength-based approach to impact change for the children, young people and families we work with.
We further pledge to continue to be active partners in the development and delivery of Our Way of Working in West Cheshire.
As a cornerstone of our 'Citizen Student' Strategy, the University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive student community, whereby students from all identities, ethnicities, faiths and backgrounds are supported to access and participate fully in University life. We want to work collaboratively with our students to understand their needs and lived experiences, and to design and deliver support. We aim continually to invest in, improve and promote access to student support services that are tailored to students' needs, that help remove barriers to engagement and that provide expert advice and advocacy when students require it. We also want to enhance the 'social capital' of our students, by supporting them to gain robustness, self-worth and resilience, and by building their skills, knowledge and confidence to navigate change and to contribute to their communities as successful graduates. Our support for Our Way of Working sits firmly in this context, by supporting the training, development and understanding of our staff and students; by supporting the development of key relationships with local schools, colleges and community partners; and by ensuring that we are in a strong position to offer high quality, tailored support to all of our students.
Trauma informed practice has always lived at the heart of St Joseph’s mission and ethos. From the very start, we have embraced OWOW practices and have worked tirelessly to promote and embed the philosophy of respect, care and compassion, ensuring that all staff have their trauma informed lens with all interactions within the school community. There is a strong culture within St Joseph’s that places a high priority on understanding people’s lived experiences. We strive to empower our community to overcome barriers through nurture, love, challenge and kindness. It is our privilege to serve our families. We make every effort to champion our children to reach and know their full potential by developing their understanding of themselves as a whole, their motivation to learn, their aspirations and resilience.
Our school is a family of faith, hope, love, fun and learning for all which recognises everyone’s qualities and talents, both academic and beyond.
For with God, nothing is impossible. Luke 1:37
Over Hall Community School ensure we use shared language around responding to children’s behaviour. We aim to ensure our children enjoy learning and feel prepared for life within and outside of the school day.
We have been embedding a Trauma Informed approach across the school for 4 years to ensure our children and families feel supported. By them being supported they can overcome and recover from their experiences of trauma which has impacted upon their mental health, physical health and social and emotional relationships both within school and wider community.
We have developed a culture of deep trust, safety and support. This approach has taken time, patience and investment in quality training for staff. Coaching trauma informed language, techniques and approaches has developed staff who are fully equipped to support any level of social and emotional needs in children.
We pledge to continue with the quality of training, good communication with our families.
To continue to have a calm, relaxed school environment that feels safe.
A high standard of attendance and low persistent absence.
No suspensions or permanent exclusions. Supportive parents who work with us to understand their child’s needs.
Children’s behaviour that is exceptional.
Children with significant trauma and/or adverse childhood effects are flourishing.
Staff who are happy with high levels of wellbeing and low absence.
We will always write to the children in a trauma informed way.
At Ancora House School we pride ourselves on knowing our young people. With the aim of ‘Building Resilience for Future Success’, young people are supported by staff to explore and develop their interests within a culture of high warmth and high expectation. We want young people to leave us with the tools to maintain their safety and know how to build positive futures. In placing an equal emphasis on social, emotional and mental health needs, our young people have a personalised education programme centred around academic, therapeutic and engagement activities allowing them to discover their talents and interests and pursue happy and healthy futures.
At Ancora House School, we recognise the difficulties faced by the young people we work with and strive to work in a trauma informed way. Staff receive training opportunities and apply trauma informed practices to our sessions; the result of which is improved attendance to education, better engagement and young people reporting to enjoy their time in education.
The Youth Justice Service (YJS) adopts a Child First (offender second) principle to working with children in - or on the cusp of - the criminal justice system and our strapline "Prevention is better than court" signifies that offending by children is very often symptomatic of trauma or unmet need. So trauma informed and relationship based practice is a golden thread running through our work with some of Cheshire's most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
Our way of working is a natural fit for a multi-disciplinary service which is seeking to help children overcome trauma and adversity and to develop the resilience necessary to lead positive lives where offending and violence is not the norm. A full joint inspection of YJS in 2021 provided validation that we have fully embedded trauma informed practice across the service and that motivational interviewing and relationship based practice is helping children with complex needs connect with professionals and desist from offending. YJS operate on a pan Cheshire footprint but pledge to lean into our ways of working for the benefit of justice involved children from Cheshire West. Ultimately we will have fewer victims and safer communities if the system and multi-agency networks that surround children who engage in risky and criminal behaviour are well connected and professionals participating in reflective supervision.
Trauma awareness, knowledge and skills are intrinsic in the culture of our community, where all members of Upton-by-Chester High School are immersed in healthy interactions between each other, developing social, emotional, regulatory and educational skills. By incorporating trauma in practice alongside all our policies, we are able to recognise and respond to the impact that traumatic stress has on relationships, academic potential and potentially negative behaviours. This recognition promotes wellness, and an environment where all feel safe.
Our trauma informed approach encourages us to understand our past, and the effects of stress on our body and brain. We believe that that everyone has a part to play in society, and we endeavour to provide an environment where learners are surrounded by staff who are able to respond effectively through a trauma, attachment and mental health informed approach, supporting our community to be the best version of themselves.
At Upton-by-Chester High School, we understand that the global pandemic has caused trauma and disruption in ALL our lives, and our approach is to provide an environment where all can thrive in a positive culture, building resilience and thus a path to our future selves, 'learning to shape the future.'