Panos Vostanis is Professor of Child Psychiatry at the University of Leicester and Visiting Professor at University College London. Panos has completed research on the assessment of mental health needs, evaluation of treatment and services for traumatized children, including those living in war zones. He is currently involved in several projects with NGOs and child trauma centers in Asia, Africa and South America as part of the World Awareness for Children in Trauma program (www.wacit.org). He has longstanding clinical experience with vulnerable children, young people and families, including those in care, homeless, adopted, refugees, and young offenders.
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WORKSHOP: Resilience-building for children who experience complex trauma
Despite fragmented evidence on individual interventions, good practice and child welfare programmes in low and middle-income countries, there is no comprehensive model for early interventions, particularly for children who experience complex trauma. The objective of WACIT (World Awareness for Children in Trauma - www.wacit.org) is to develop an evidence-based psychosocial model for vulnerable children in low and middle-income countries with limited or no access to specialist resources. The first phase involved networking and training events in six countries (Kenya, Rwanda, Brazil, Turkey, Pakistan and Indonesia). A preliminary evaluation established stakeholders’ views on the extent of need, sociocultural context, service gaps, and recommendations for improvement and the creation of working partnerships. The findings were integrated with existing evidence and led to a resilience-building model. An overview of the model so far will be presented, particularly as the Breaking the Cycle Conference will coincide with the final stage of the WACIT 6 Continents in 6 Weeks phase. The six dimensions of the resilience-building model include safety, nurturing/family support, school and community interventions, therapeutic applications, trauma-focused counselling and psychological interventions, and mental health care. Their practice implications will be discussed in relation to participants’ roles, experience and related programmes.