Frequently Asked Questions
How can schools use the Thoughtful Schools Program?
The Thoughtful Schools Program has been developed for use in the following way:
- Schools develop a Thoughtful Schools Working Group,
- Working Group use the Trauma-Informed Practice Principles for Schools (TIPPS) to assess their school culture, policies and practices and prioritise principles to work towards,
- The Working Group generate an action plan using the results of the TIPPS checklist, Thoughtful Schools support strategies, and consultation with the school community to generate an action plan,
- The Working Group membership and TIPPS checklist is revised annually.
This process is visually represented in the Thoughtful Schools Model.
Although the Thoughtful Schools Program incorporates planning and support strategies, ideally schools will also seek and use experts to help them implement adversity and trauma-informed approaches. Experts can be found within and external to systems. For example, school and private psychologists, universities, not-for-profit agencies and community programs (such as local government authorities in Australia) are all likely to be able to assist. We can also assist, see below for The Thoughtful Schools Program professional development and coaching.
Can we integrate the Thoughtful Schools Program with other school frameworks, programs or strategies?
Trauma-informed practice is a concept that underpins many strategies, programs and frameworks that schools currently use. We believe it aligns well with Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), Multi-Tier Systems of Support (MTSS), Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI), Australian Childhood Foundation Making Space for Learning and other trauma-informed practice programs. The TIPPS checklist may assist schools with program and professional development planning and a whole school approach to optimise student and staff wellbeing.
What does the research involve?
We would like to evaluate the impact of the Thoughtful Schools Program on schools. This involves schools completing the TIPPS self-assessment checklist before implementing strategies and then repeating the assessments approximately six months later. When possible we would also like to follow up after one, then two years. We would also like to ask the school staff to complete a questionnaire about their perceptions of trauma-informed practice. The results of the research will help us to identify program strengths and areas for improvement. Your school’s involvement in the research is voluntary and you do not have to participate in the research to use the program. If you decide to use the Thoughtful Schools Program resources, we will provide you more information about the research, what it involves and information we will can provide to your school at research completion.
How much does the Thoughtful Schools Program cost?
The base program is available free of charge to schools and openly available.
If schools would like our Thoughtful Schools Professional Development Sessions or Coaching, a small fee is requested to cover staff costs.
Who do I contact if I have more questions?