We understand that children do the best they can to cope with traumatic circumstances and situations that have disrupted their lives. These may include:
- Big “T” traumas from universally-recognized events, such as death of a loved one, car crash, pandemic, natural disaster, injury, or witnessing threat of another
- Little “t” traumas that dramatically affect a child’s ability to cope, such as chronic illness, bullying, poverty, racism, parental separation or divorce, recurring failure to meet school expectations, being threatened or ignored
Many students at Olive Crest Academy come from a background of trauma or difficult life challenges. As such, they have developed survival techniques in response to stress that attempt to avoid pain and create safety. These techniques were necessary at one time, but may not be effective in their present environment. Through Trauma-Informed Care, we equip students with tools that help them appropriately manage emotions and perceptions that may or may not be accurate to their current situation.
The guiding principles of Trauma-Informed Care are:
- Safety – Sense of emotional and physical safety (avoids creating feelings of threat/activating the stress response system).
- Trustworthiness – Convey clear boundaries and expectations so that kids know what they can expect from their day and from adults.
- Choice – Individual differences are recognized. Input from students is valued and an active part of the decision-making process.
- Collaboration and Mutuality – Recognition that healing happens in the context of relationship. Partnership and the leveling of power differences is emphasized.
- Empowerment – Focus on individual's strengths, building self-regulation, and building skills.