Maya Vakfi launches new report on Trauma Informed Schools in Turkey!

Maya Vakfı (Foundation) has released its flagship report on the results of their Trauma Informed Schools program. Since 2017 the program has been carried out in Turkish public schools with the cooperation of the Ministry of National Education and the General Directorate of Lifelong Learning.

Maya Vakfı’s Trauma Informed Schools Program creates a safe learning environment for children who have been affected by traumatic life experiences, specifically war, migration and natural disasters. The program, developed with the support of Theirworld, a global children’s charity committed to ending the global education crisis and unleashing the potential of the next generation, aims to identify traumatized children and provide them additional psychosocial support and to give trainings to teachers and school counselors on how to identify and support traumatized children at school. Various activities are implemented to develop positive behavior patterns and help heal children affected by trauma and disruption.
To date 1,055 educators and counselors in 20 schools participated in trainings and 5,000 children have attended psychosocial support sessions in Istanbul and Şanlıurfa.

The Program Model
Trauma Informed Schools Program is a holistic child centered approach that educates teachers, school administrators and families on the affects trauma has on the child. The program is carried out in three stages.
1. Teacher and School Counselor Trainings: to gain baseline knowledge of how to diagnose trauma symptoms and establish a referral processes in order to create a safe inclusive school environment.
2. Classroom Screening Tests, Assessments and Referrals: Applying screening tests in collaboration with teachers identifies children who show signs of stress after intense traumas.
3. Support Group Sessions: With the guidance of teachers, children who show traumatic stress signs are included in the 8-week psychosocial support group sessions conducted by Maya Foundation's clinical psychologists. These sessions aim to reduce childrens traumatic stress symptoms by strengthening childrens coping skills and resiliency skills.

The results
Author of the report, Dilek Çelik (Gedik University Psychology Department Assistant Professor)evaluated the results as follows: “Ninety-six percent of teachers reported that their knowledge and skills in understanding trauma is increased after teacher trainings. Nine out of 10 teachers pointed out that they felt more confident to provide a more nurturing education environment for immigrant children. Furthermore, many teachers stated that these trainings are also raised their awareness of children's learning disabilities as a result of traumatic experience and review
their perspectives on academic failures of students with background of war and migration.”

Although most of the participants stated that they had a general idea about trauma prior to the training, they emphasize that the training has increased their awareness and sensitivity of the trauma issue. Participants also expressed that they had the chance to review and reconsider their knowledge of the impact of trauma on children.
Based on this conclusion this program has enabled teachers and school counsellors to provide relevant training and skills to help manage traumatic stress, has strengthened teachers and administrators, and support members of the school community. Besides, the program has achieved the goals of re-teaching behavior expectations, practicing alternate behaviors and restoring relationships that may have been damaged.

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