Historically, the needs of the 5 million Australian adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse have not been prioritised by governments. The establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the extension of its term to the end of 2017 is a significant turning point in societal acknowledgement of the issue of child abuse and survivor needs. However, government and societal responses are not commensurate with the scale of the issue or need.
Blue Knot Foundation advocates systemically for innovations in policy and action to better meet the public health challenge of unresolved trauma. Due to resourcing constraints however Blue Knot Foundation is unable to conduct personal advocacy on behalf of individuals.
According to the World Health Organisation, "healthy public policy" puts health and equity on the agenda of policy-makers in all sectors, and at all levels. Healthy public policy aims to create supportive environments for people to live healthy lives, make healthy decisions, and enjoy a life-enhancing physical and social environment.
Blue Knot Foundation, in collaboration with the MHCC and other partners led a national strategy around trauma informed practice. Its Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery have set the standards for trauma informed practice. Its education and training programs are building the capacity of many workplaces in trauma informed service delivery.
These initiatives are pivotal in promoting access to the trauma specific and trauma informed services across sectors, which are needed to facilitate pathways to recovery for survivors, their families and communities.
Despite substantive research around the public health burden of unresolved childhood trauma, this type of trauma is often not identified, acknowledged or appropriately addressed. Some of Blue Knot Foundation’s advocacy of policy efforts include: