Understanding Trauma-Informed Practice (external resource)

This training is available at National Disability Services under the heading of "Trauma Informed Support Films". It is duplicated here for your convenience but is considered an external resource.

Trauma Informed Support is a contemporary, evidence-based approach to supporting people who may have experienced trauma in their lives.

The Trauma Informed Support films have been developed to assist support workers, providers, people with disability and their families to understand what trauma is, the impact it can have, and ways in which everyone in an organisation can provide trauma-informed support.

Each film will help you to start a conversation about a different aspect of Trauma Informed Support. There are questions at the end of each film to help you to talk to each other. The films can be watched in sequential order with opportunities for reflection and discussion in between each film.

Alternatively, if there is a particular topic of interest, each film can be watched on its own.

Some tips for positive conversations: 

  • Think about where and when you will have the conversation so that everyone is comfortable and free from distraction.
  • Make sure you allow enough time so that everyone has the opportunity to speak and be heard.
  • Think about what follow-up might be needed. Let people know how they can keep the conversation going and where they can get support if needed.
  • Consider who you would like to facilitate the conversation.

Download the Facilitators Guide for additional tips, information and resources to facilitate conversations about the five Trauma Informed Support Films.

Getting the support you need

Some of the things that are talked about in the films or that you talk about together might bring up feelings for people. This may be because of things you have experienced or seen in your work or personal life.

Please talk to someone you trust if you need to discuss any of the issues covered in these films. This may include a family member or friend, or a supervisor or manager.

You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for confidential 24-hour telephone crisis support.

Understanding Trauma

This film lays the foundation for understanding trauma and how it can affect people differently throughout their lives. Exploring the impact of trauma on the brain and the physiological responses it can prompt, this film aims to build understanding about human behaviour that supports a safer, more sensitive approach to supporting people who may have experienced trauma.

What is Trauma Informed Support

Acknowledging the possibility of trauma for the people you support is the first step in providing trauma informed support. This film explores the six foundational values of Trauma Informed Support - an evidence based, therapeutic approach which recognises signs and symptoms of trauma, enables pathways for recovery and actively seeks to avoid re-traumatisation.

A Trauma Informed approach to Positive Behaviour Support

Positive Behaviour Support is an approach which views all behaviour as communication, and aims to improve a person’s quality of life and build on their strengths. Understanding the impacts of trauma creates an opportunity to provide more effective positive behaviour support, as we are more attuned to a person’s needs and can respond in a holistic manner. This film provides key practices for implementing positive behaviour support through a trauma informed lens.

How can Organisations Embed a Trauma Informed Approach?

Embedding Trauma Informed support into organisations begins with recognising that the people who use its services, their families and staff may all have experienced trauma at some point. Drawing on the work of the Taking Time Framework (Jackson and Waters 2015), this film offers practical suggestions for how all levels of an organisation can play a powerful role in building and sustaining a trauma informed culture.

Building networks of support and recognising vicarious trauma

An important part of providing effective Trauma Informed Support is knowing when either you or the person you are supporting might need additional help. This film focusses on how we can build strong networks of support, and the ways in which individuals and organisations can recognise and respond to the signs and symptoms of vicarious trauma.


[As mentioned above this entire page is replicated from the NDS website for your convenience, you can find the original and similar resources there]

Much of the content of these films was based on the Taking Time Framework (A Trauma Informed Framework for Supporting People with Intellectual Disability)*.

*Jackson, A. L., & Waters, S. E. (2015). Taking Time – Framework: A trauma-informed framework for supporting people with intellectual disability. Melbourne, Australia: Berry Street. This report was sponsored by the NSW Statewide Behaviour Intervention Service (SBIS), Clinical Innovation and Governance (CIG), Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC), Family and Community Services (FACS).