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Developmental trauma: Perspectives on trauma supportive care and relational healing

Event Details
Date: 28 January 2022
Time: 11.00am-12.30pm (AEDT)
Venue: Online
CPD hrs: 1.5 hours

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Organiser: AASW


(03) 9320 1000

  • Event date has passed
  • Registrations are closed

“We elicit from the world what we project into the world; but what you project is based upon what happened to you as a child.” – Bruce Perry

Developmental trauma can occur when a child witnesses or endures overwhelming negative experiences such as abuse, neglect, or loss in the early stages of their life and childhood. Critically, relationships that were supposed to keep the child safe were often a source of fear or unpredictability.

The adversity a child experiences in the formative years can have a lasting impact on their physical development as well as the development of language, memory, speech, emotional regulation, behaviour, and healthy social relationships. If adequate support is not received, trauma may contribute to the development of mental health disorders, emotional dysregulation, behaviours of concern, or difficulty with trusting relationships as an adult.

In the course of our work with children or adults we may discover periods our clients’ life where a caregiver was unable to keep them safe. Experiences can range from exposure to alcohol and other drug use, family violence and unstable living conditions, physical or sexual abuse, and other harmful events.

This webinar will draw from evidence informed literature on neurobiology, developmental trauma research, psychotherapy principles, social models of health and disability, mental health, and allied health. It will encourage social workers to step back and view a child’s situation through a trauma lens, especially when the child’s presentation is particularly complex or intense.

The webinar will offer key principles and strategies that social workers can use to offer trauma informed support to their clients, even if they are not working in a trauma treatment role.

It will offer therapeutic strategies to use in client work, and appropriate interventions that could be integrated into the child’s care network to support trauma healing.

Who should attend? Emerging to established social workers who would like to deepen their understanding of developmental trauma and its impacts. Professionals working in schools and Out of Home Care would also benefit from this content.

1.5 hours of CPD activity: Category 2, skills and knowledge

AASW Credential: Mental Health, Child Protection

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • Define developmental trauma
  • Understand how developmental trauma affects children and young people (and the adults they grow into)
  • Identify how trauma may have contributed to a client’s presentation, and the implications of diagnostic overshadowing / making assumptions
  • Consider how a child’s behaviour could be communicating unmet needs about relational safety
  • Understand how trauma informed support can help children and young people with high risk and challenging behaviours
  • Identify appropriate therapeutic interventions pathways to support young clients in their individual healing process


Claudia Wolf

Claudia Wolf is an AASW social worker with a Postgraduate qualification in Developmental Trauma from the Australian Childhood Foundation. She has completed additional training in Acceptance Commitment Therapy for trauma related disorders, Mental Health, and Alcohol and Other Drugs.

She is currently working as a Positive Behaviour Support Practitioner with NDIS participants who have behaviours of concern. Her interests include psychosocial disability, as well as working with participants who have experienced adversity and trauma.

She has a background working in the Out of Home Care sector with children and adolescents with significant developmental trauma and high risk/challenging behaviours. While working in Out of Home Care, she was a lead trainer in her organisation for Trauma Informed Caring. She spent several years training and assessing new foster carers, helping to build their confidence and competence to support the children and young people in their care using therapeutic parenting strategies.

In her current role, she has presented training on developmental trauma to various (clinical and non-clinical) teams.

Location and date

Live online: a Zoom link will be emailed to you prior to the webinar
28 January 2022
11.00am-12.30pm (AEDT)

A recording of the webinar will be sent to registrants via email after the event and available to watch for 2 weeks.


Members $90 (incl GST)
New Graduates, Retired and Student Members $45 (incl GST)
Non-members $120 (incl GST)


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Click submit on the right-hand side of this page to register.

*Please note, registrations close 27 January 2022 at midnight.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers