Systems Generated Trauma

‘Trauma related practice’ is a phrase increasingly used by public bodies to convey their awareness that many of those with whom they interact have experienced life changing traumas. As a rule, the traumas referred to are ‘other’ – in the sense that they are the result of adverse childhood experiences, domestic violence, mental health difficulties and so on. What is not generally acknowledged, is that many users of public services identify their most traumatising experiences as the way they were treated by the public bodies that they had approached for support.

Systems Generated Traumas’ of this kind are a daily experience for many people in contact with the social welfare system, including carers, disabled people, people who are homeless, mothers in dysfunctional maternity units, claimants in the hostile environments created by the DWP, and so on – it is a very long list.

There are a myriad of intersecting examples, but for parents of disabled children these can include: being prosecuted when their disabled child is ‘school refusing’; being refused support by children’s services when in desperate need, but then having their home inspected and their children interviewed for child protection purposes; being accused of fabricating or inducing their child’s illness (FII) because they have requested a second opinion from a health professional; being unable ‘to access justice’ to gain redress for the damage done by behaviour of this kind – and so on.

A Conference in Leeds on the 9th July will be looking at this issue and discussing ways that we can bring about change to these dysfunctional social welfare systems.  Sadly, all the ‘in-person’ places at the Conference have now been taken but it will also be live streamed.  If this is of interest – the Conference flyer can be accessed by clicking here.

Posted 15 June 2024.