South Lanarkshire Council has committed to providing employees with trauma training.
At this week’s ’employee issues’ forum it was announced that the council will launch a series of projects aimed at educating employees.
This is in line with the Scottish Government’s ambition to educate all employers, including local authorities, to ensure all aspects of the service are trauma-informed and responsive to both employees and customers.
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The council has signed the Supportive Leadership Commitment and will commit to incorporating trauma-driven principles and practices into all services.
Links have been established with the national Trauma Champions Network, supported by the Improvement Service, as well as the Pan-Lanarkshire Trauma Steering Group.
A South Lanarkshire steering group has also been developed to oversee and coordinate the development and implementation of trauma training.
It will be chaired by the person in charge of the service for adults and the elderly with representation from various entities and services.
There are also plans to submit an application to the finance and corporate resources committee next month to seek approval of additional funding.
That will be used to create a two-year development officer position to coordinate the implementation of trauma-informed practice across the authority.
Councilman Gerry Convery welcomed the plans but expressed concern, saying, “That’s a good report, it’s a worthwhile project, good to see.
“The only caveat I would give is that I hope there is no meeting after meeting after meeting.
“With this new coordinator, we need to allow them to get to the core phase where people really need help, because we set up all these things and all we do is sit and talk. That’s not what it should be about.
“It should be practical and let the workforce know that if they’re traumatized, they know where to go and there’s a friendly face on the other side of the door.”
It is widely recognized that services supported by trauma-informed personnel can support people’s resilience and recovery.
A framework has been developed for the Scottish workforce to support employers with the introduction of trauma training.
The framework is supported by NHS Education Scotland, COSLA and Service Improvement with the focus on staff well-being and to provide guidance on how to take a trauma-informed perspective to service delivery.
East Kilbride West Councilor Monique McAdams questioned the potential progress of the framework.
She said: “I appreciate the report, I think national frameworks are important, and my only downside seems to be that they never seem to get to the bottom line with anything.
“So what are we going to do to make sure we do our bit?”
At the meeting, it was stated that there are ongoing discussions on the identification of an action plan, however, it will be of great importance that the discussions are related to practical work on the ground.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.