Australian Educators’ Perceptions and Attitudes Towards a Trauma-Responsive School-Wide Approach

Julie Avery, Heather Morris, Annemarie Jones, Helen Skouteris, Joanne Deppeler

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Staff perceptions and attitudes regarding the introduction of the Reframing Learning and Teaching Environments (ReLATE) trauma-responsive school-wide approach were investigated in three Catholic primary schools in Victoria, Australia. School leaders, teachers, and support staff were interviewed regarding their experiences of the approach either individually or in focus groups. Educator attitudes towards trauma-responsive education was evaluated using the ARTIC–ED Scale, prior to and after participating in the six-month intervention. Qualitative data were interpreted using ecological analysis of the themes arising guided by the trauma informed principles and frameworks of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Trauma Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI). Findings indicated significant shifts towards trauma-responsive practice following the introduction of ReLATE. Strong themes emerged relating to the influence of improved trauma knowledge on perceptions of student behavior, consequent reported adaptations to behavior management practices, strengthened sense of trust and respect in the school climate, the centrality of leadership to effect change, and importance of school-fit to program uptake. Strengths and limitations of ReLATE are considered, along with implications for teacher professional learning, the role of leadership in effecting change and significance of perceived school-fit and collaboration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-785
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Trauma
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Attitudes
  • Practice change
  • School professional learning
  • Trauma-informed

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