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REWIRE: a practice model and framework for supporting trauma-affected students in schools

Event Details
Date: 20 December 2021
Time: 11.00am-12.30pm (AEDT)
Venue: Online
CPD hrs: 1.5 hours

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Organiser: AASW


(03) 9320 1000


FACT: 1 out of every 4 children attending school has been exposed to a traumatic event that can affect learning or behaviour, impacting their school performance and impairing their learning (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network).

Students impacted by trauma sit within every classroom of every school across every year level from Kindergarten to Year 12. Understanding how to support these students and their educators is vital to improving the education and life outcomes of these vulnerable students. Yet, many of these students struggle in school settings because of the challenges of academic learning, getting along with others, feeling misunderstood and unsafe.

School staff may have limited awareness, knowledge, and expertise to enable these students to succeed in the everyday opportunities that could provide their pathway out of disadvantage, risking poor outcomes for these students developmentally and educationally.

REWIRE sets out a structured, wholistic school model and framework for supporting these students and their educators to be successful.

Social Work Practitioners are especially well placed to support trauma-affected students, their families, and educators in the school environment. They do this through psychosocial support and by taking a systemic approach to engaging and connecting students and their families with supports within the broader community.

This webinar will address the foundations for the REWIRE model as well as each element of the framework. It will provide participants with the key steps and essential ingredients to support trauma-impacted students to be successful in school and enable them to capitalise on the positive experiences and opportunities that schools are uniquely positioned to provide them with.

Who should attend? All practitioners working with students and their families - in the school system or externally.

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

AASW Credential: Clinical, Mental Health, Child Protection

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify and understand the key elements of this comprehensive practice model and framework.
  • Conceptualise the importance of rewiring the systems of support within schools in order to ‘rewire’ the brains of trauma-affected students.
  • Consider practice and support approaches that promote rather than undermine healthy development and progressive education
  • Understand the importance of a support role for students and their educators
  • Comprehend the steps involved in shifting from traditional approaches and practices to trauma informed practices and approaches.
  • Understand what should underpin the practices and processes in schools to advance the progress, recovery, and growth of vulnerable students and create an optimal learning environment.


Deborah Costa

Deborah is a registered psychologist, school counsellor and educator with a strong professional interest in working to support traumatised children and young people in education settings and working to educate and increase capacity within schools to support these children and young people. Deborah was the 2018 Premier’s Scholar and researched international initiatives supporting traumatised school students. Deborah regularly presents to schools and conferences on trauma-informed and sensitive cultures and practices and establishing school-based practices to support children and young people.

Deborah holds bachelor and postgraduate degrees in psychology and education, specialist qualifications in traumatic stress studies and complex trauma and is a current candidate for Master of Public Health. Deborah is registered Emotion Coaching in education settings practitioner and trainer, and Member of the International Association of Trauma Professionals and the Australian Childhood Foundation’s (ACF) Trauma Recovery Support Team. Deborah has published work in this field and is a guest blogger on the ACF’s online professional magazine, Prosody.

During the day Deborah works with students and staff in schools.

Location and date

Live online
20 December 2021
11.00am-12.30pm (AEDT)

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


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


To receive member prices please login to the member centre before proceeding with your purchase.

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

*Please note, registrations close 19 December 2021 at midnight.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers