I would like to share with everyone how impressed I was with the R/R (rhythmic/repetitive) Carnival that Residential youth counselor Blair Grover and the staff of our Endeavor unit staff put on March 26. R/R activities are part of SaintA’s focus on trauma informed care; this type of activity helps to calm a child’s brain and promotes self-regulation in children who have experienced serious childhood trauma. The boys in our Endeavor unit are the youngest in our on-site care.
This event had many of the elements of trauma-Informed practice:
- It appeared to be staff driven and fully supported by leadership.
- There was large staff turnout and participation.
- It offered regulatory activities for the children, families and staff.
- It also offered written materials for families to take home with ideas on regulatory activities they can do at home.
- The event was presented in a language that both the children and families understood: “This is fun; this helps; this can be easy to do.”
- Staff made sure that children who did not have families present were accompanied by staff.
The carnival was totally in line with SaintA’s trauma informed certification effort, which is aimed at making sure all of our programs adhere to a trauma informed practice.
In addition, in terms of caregiver capacity — the seventh ingredient in SaintA’s Seven Essential Ingredients of Trauma Informed Care – the families and children enjoyed their time together; the families got to meet and interact with staff and watch staff in action with the children, and the employees seemed to really enjoy putting on the event and participating in it, regardless of the amount of extra work it entailed.
An added bonus was when I saw and heard staff laughing with the children, the families and each other. It was clear that staff were having fun and that it was truly a community spirit and event.
This event was really perfect from my perspective. It was collaborative, staff had fun and it serves as a great template for other SaintA events.
Great job everyone!
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