Psychological First Aid for children, adolescents and families experiencing trauma
A guide for first responders
Children in South Africa are exposed to a lot trauma, violence, abuse and neglect. In these situations, children have little control, and they need someone to step up and hold their hand through the storm that trauma brings.
All caregivers have a responsibility to protect and care for children. First responders are heroes (who don’t wear capes) and are able to reach out with their insights and skills to provide comfort and to help soothe the child’s pain and confusion. First responders may include community workers or leaders, nurses, child and youth care workers, teachers, social workers, paramedics and police officers.
This guide is divided into sections. It talks about the need to care for yourself so you can care for others. It discusses trauma – what it is, how it affects us and children - and provides information about how trauma affects children in various stages of development. The guide shares information on Psychological First Aid (PFA) for children. It tells you what needs to be reported and to whom. As a bonus, there is a short section about personal reflections and a list of resources about PFA you might find interesting.
And remember, caregivers and those being cared for are all in this together.