What we do:
- Empower recovery and build resilience for the 1 in 4 Australian adults who experience the impacts childhood trauma
- Provide support, education and resources for the families and communities of adult survivors of childhood trauma
- Develop and disseminate best practice and research evidence around complex trauma
- Build national workforce capacity around complex trauma treatment, trauma-informed practice and managing vicarious trauma
- Drive innovation in complex trauma policy, practice and service delivery
- Embed trauma-informed policy, practice and systems change within organisations and the community
What is complex trauma?
Complex trauma is trauma which usually involves people. In some cases one person/people abuse/s, neglect/s or is/are violent to another person or people. In others it’s because a parent or person who is caring for a child (care-giver) experienced their own traumas. And that trauma is still affecting them (because they haven’t had the right help or support to heal from it). Sometimes it’s because a parent or care-giver has a mental illness or misuses drugs or alcohol, or because a parent is not physically or emotionally available to a child. There are many ways in which complex trauma can occur.
The abusive or violent events usually happen more than once, sometimes often, as well as over a period of time, and are often extreme. Being traumatised time and again causes impacts which build on one another, and can seriously affect people’s health, wellbeing and capacity to live a meaningful connected life.
Regardless, it is important to also acknowledge the strength and resilience of people who have trauma experiences. To honour their survival and hold a sense of hope that life can get and often does get better. The fact is that research, and survivors’ own stories tell us that people can and do recover from all sorts of traumas. And that when parents have worked through their trauma their children do better.
When complex trauma occurs in childhood it can have serious effects on the child, although not necessarily. These effects are often experienced not only in childhood, but also in adolescence, as an adult and even into old age (when people don’t find the right help and support). Blue Knot Foundation’s core work is with adults who have experienced childhood trauma – which comes in many forms – their families, and communities.
Many people we support struggle with their self-esteem, their relationships and/or their emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing and health. Despite this a lot of evidence shows that hope around recovery makes sense. That when adult survivors receive the right help and support, they can start to heal. Blue Knot Foundation provides that help and support in various ways. If you are a survivor and need information or support click here.
Trauma in childhood does not only affect those who have experienced it. It affects their family, including their children and their communities. If you are a family member, friend, neighbour or colleague of a survivor and you need information or support click here.
Adults with complex trauma experiences use lots of services, some directly because of their trauma, some related to their trauma, and others for general purposes. Our National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma is a national and international leader in research, policy, practice, training, resources and direct service delivery, in the clinical treatment of complex trauma, and the underpinning paradigm of trauma-informed practice.
You will find more relevant information as you read through this website.