Highland Council To Implement Trauma Informed Practice
1st July 2022
At the first full Highland Council Committee meeting (30 June 2022), newly elected Members agreed that the Council will implement a trauma informed practice across all Council services.
It is estimated that around 60% of the UK population has experienced psychological trauma in their lifetime. For more vulnerable groups, including people in in-patient mental health, drug and alcohol services and the justice system, the prevalence is even higher. The 2019 Scottish Health Survey (external link) found that just over one in seven adults reported experiencing four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee Chair, Cllr David Fraser said: "The Highland Council shares the ambitions of the Scottish Government and COSLA to develop a trauma informed workforce across Highland. The aim is to ensure we deliver services in ways which prevent further harm or re-traumatisation for those who have experienced trauma or adversity at any stage in their lives. Part of this will be identifying champions to help promote, oversee, and embed trauma informed systems and services across all parts of the organisation.
"While living through trauma is relatively common, the experience and its impact is often hidden. Although many people show remarkable resilience, it remains a fact that people who experience trauma are at higher risk of experiencing poorer outcomes at all stages of their lives, across physical and mental health, education, employment and wellbeing, if they do not have access to the right support at the right time, if needed. There is growing evidence that, where the impact of trauma on those affected is understood by staff, and systems are adapted accordingly, this can result in better outcomes for people affected by trauma. This is the reason why, as both an employer and public facing service, embedding trauma informed staff across all Council services is of vital importance."
Leader of the Council, Raymond Bremner said: "Responding to trauma is, now more than ever, a public health priority and a priority for the Council. COVID-19 and the restrictions put in place to contain the virus have significantly increased the risk of people experiencing trauma and re-traumatisation. This includes people living with domestic abuse or child abuse, facing poverty, financial hardship or unemployment, those facing severe/chronic illness, affected by suicide or sudden bereavement."
The implementation of the national trauma training programme provides information to support organisations, managers and workers to identify knowledge and skills requirements; training providers to develop evidence-based learning; and people affected by trauma to understand the support that they can receive. The national training plan sets out key principles and considerations for developing a trauma-informed workforce. The plan advises that in order for training to be successfully translated into practice, three areas must be considered:
Developing a competent workforce.
Ensuring organisational support for new skills and new ways of working.
Providing effective leadership to support embedding new skills.
By being trauma informed, the Council aims to improve service delivery by being more aware of potential barriers for those trying to access services and recognise the role in responding to this. Internally, trained trauma staff will support the wellbeing of colleagues by working in a trauma informed way.
The report can be read here -
Nominations are being invited from people seeking election to 15 Highland community councils covering areas in Caithness Sutherland, Easter Ross, Wester Ross, Isle of Raasay, the Black Isle, Inverness, Nairnshire, Badenoch and Strathspey and Lochaber. Community Councils are voluntary organisations that express the views and concerns of local people within their area across a wide range of issues from new buildings and roads to local services and facilities.
COSLA leaders meet tomorrow (Friday 5 August 2022) to discuss the local government pay offer and how they can avert substantial, long term, strikes in 1200 schools and early years centres and waste and recycling centres in councils across Scotland . UNISON is urging COSLA to use this leaders meeting to agree a substantially improved pay offer to avert serious disruption across Scotland - otherwise few if any councils will avoid some level of significant disruption.
The Highland Council is urging businesses - particularly those in the tourism and hospitality sectors - to be prepared for the end of relaxation of planning and building warrant controls on 30 September 2022. In line with changes to the COVID-19 guidance from the Scottish Government many of the pandemic mitigations that were put in place in terms of the provision of temporary structures and their uses – are no longer required.
The Highland Council has launched a public consultation to ask people's views on where and how they would like to see free period products made available in the Highland area. In 2021, Scotland became the first country to pass a law to make period products freely available and reasonably easily accessible to anyone who needs them.
At the Highland Council meeting held on, 30 June 2022, elected Members agreed to progress the submission of two separate bids for round two of the UK Levelling Up Fund, these include the North Coast 500 (Transport Bid) and Portree Harbour (standalone Heritage bid). Economy and Infrastructure Committee Chair, Cllr Ken Gowans said: "The Levelling Up Fund offers Highland an opportunity to bid for funds that will make a transformational impact across our communities.
Members of full Council, who met yesterday - Thursday, 30 June – were presented with a report on the UK Government's Shared Prosperity Fund and provided with an update on the process currently underway to develop a Highland Investment Plan which will determine how the funding may be used locally. A financial allocation of £9,445,515 has been awarded to Highland Council over a three-year period, which runs from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025.
At the Highland Council meeting held yesterday, 30 June 2022, elected Members approved a package of support totalling £3.639m for low-income households and economic growth. The approved package consists of: £0.591m - one-off grants of £125 each will be paid automatically for around 4,700 vulnerable children and young people in Primary 1 to 6th year who received school clothing grants as at 31 May 2022.
A report outlining the key points within The Highland Council's annual accounts for the year to 31st March 2022 was presented to full Council today (30 June 2022), ahead of their submission for full audit. The report shows that the Council continued to demonstrate strong financial management during financial year 2021/22, with an overall surplus of £9m recorded against the revenue budget for the general fund.
Councillor Ron Gunn, who represents the Thurso and Northwest Sutherland Ward of The Highland Council, has been appointed as Chair of the new Caithness Committee which met for the first time (Friday 1 July 2022). After taking the Chair, Cllr Gunn thanked Members for their support and then called for nominations to the roles of Vice Chairs and Civic Leaders for Thurso and Wick.
A pioneering bid for Green Freeport status by the Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF) consortium today received seismic boost after Members of Highland Council homologated the local authority's cross-chamber support. Members agreed their continued support for the OCF project and Green Freeport bid and acknowledged the potential benefits to the Highland region.