COVID-19 letter to parents from our Directors and tips for preparing for COVID-19 in a trauma informed way

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COVID-19 letter to parents from our Directors and tips for preparing for COVID-19 in a trauma informed way

Published: 17th March 2020
From: The Children’s Consultancy (formerly The Adoption Consultancy 360)

Letter to parents from our Directors Chris West and Sally Hebeler

We are thinking about you all during these strange and uncertain times. Our priority is to protect and support all our families.

We have been rigorously following the recommendations from Public Health England and the World Health Organisation over the last few weeks. Our primary focus is keeping everyone safe whilst also maintaining an ongoing connection to support you and your children. This is really important to us.

We feel that it is important to continue to offer ongoing sessions albeit in a safe and creative way.

Phase One (this week)

Currently children are not in the at-risk group and schools remain open. Our sessions this week will continue. We would like to reassure you that we are cleaning between all sessions and sanitising equipment after each use. We are rotating blankets and staff are washing these daily to further reduce the risk of cross contamination. Getting the balance of doing what’s needed and doing what is right for our staff and families is of the upmost importance to us. We hold both yours and our team’s wellbeing at the forefront of all that we do.

Phase Two (likely to be next week onwards)

Your therapist will contact you to discuss plans for on-going sessions, if not in person, then by video links such as Skype, Zoom etc. This is a tried and tested model and works well with supporting ongoing relationships. Therapists will be putting together individual treatment plans to undertake at home, and actively working on other ways to support you and your child therapeutically.

In addition, our team will also be putting together some further ideas and resources for play and learning during any possible school closures and sending these out to you on a regular basis.

Please also remember that whilst larger businesses maybe able ride the uncertainty ahead, smaller businesses are more vulnerable. Our therapists have trained for many years and their experience and skills are a scarce resource. With this is mind we wish for them to continue working with you all and with a bit of creativity on all our parts this can continue through the next few months, and beyond.

We want to thank you for taking the time to read this and reassure you we will be doing all we can to assist you all during this difficult time and we remain open for business.

Chris West & Sally Hebeler – Directors

A few tips for preparing for COVID-19 in a trauma informed way: from The Inspired Treehouse

  1. Do not ignore what is happening, because your children – especially those with histories of trauma – will pick up on the fact that things are unexpectedly different in their worlds. But do try and avoid making them more nervous.
  2. A good message is to talk about the virus and how “we’re working together to keep more people from getting sick by pausing school and other places crowds maybe… “it’s so good so many people are working to help one another out!”
  3. Focus on what will stay the same…little things, that you’ll still get up and eat breakfast, you’ll still have lunch, you’ll still sleep in your bed, etc. Make a small list if appropriate for your child.
  4. If you sense a child is becoming anxious, call it out casually: “I noticed you might be kind of anxious about something…I’m wondering if it has anything to do with XYZ?”
  5. Provide visual structure for your children at this time. Make a visual plan for the day, introduce it in the morning, and work your way through it during the day. It will take extra effort on your part, but will help them with any anxiety and these unexpected changes.
  6. Outdoor play, baths, sensory play, etc. will be helpful activities.
  7. Remember that unexpected change, loss of routine and structure, and increased stress in the world will be big triggers for many of your children. Focus on co-regulation, keep expectations appropriate, and be kind to yourself and them.
  8. Deep breaths, deep breaths. We can do this together.