The term of the exclusivity agreement signed in 2016 with the Turkish Ministry of Education’s General Directorate of Lifelong Education has been extended for another year.

Following the pilot program implemented as part of the agreement in four provisional training centers and primary schools in Fatih, Istanbul, the second leg of the “Trauma-Informed Schools” started with the primary objective of “social adjustment” in the new term.

The first leg of the Trauma-Informed Schools project was implemented in the provisional training centers that Syrian children attended. The initial goal was to instill skills in children to cope with trauma and to make the schools safer for the children through trainings for all school staff and parents. After the pilot project’s results were evaluated with officials from the Ministry of Education to identify the “best practices” in this field, a decision was made to develop the project further to spread it across all schools that refugee children and children in protective custody attend. “Social adjustment” has been added to the primary objectives of the project.

The Foundation is now working on developing programs aimed at teachers and counsellors in the schools to reinforce their skills for coping with trauma and traumatised children.

Since the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year, activities are carried out at a mixed primary school in Balat, Fatih, Istanbul selected for this purpose and a provisional training center. Teachers are given seminars on psychological education about trauma, discipline methods in classes with traumatised children, intervention techniques against bullying and child protection policies. The knowledge acquired in these seminars is put into practice through supervisions and joint field activities. Furthermore, programs to develop self-care skills are carried out for teachers to deal with the negative effects of working with traumatised children.

As part of the activities in these schools, workshops are organised for children. The workshops focused on developing skills to cope with trauma and deal with bullying as well as social and cultural adjustment also allow the program to be measured and evaluated while providing teachers and counsellors an opportunity to practice their learning in a controlled environment.

The second leg of the project that started at the beginning of the academic year reached 50 teachers and 800 children.