2.1 Supporting Children after a Major Incident

1. Introduction

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This course will take approximately 1-2 hours to complete, but this timing will depend on how fast you read and how long you spend on the activities and reflective questions. You do not need to complete the whole course in one go. If you leave and come back to the course you can pick up where you left off.

This course is designed to help adults support children who are exposed to a disastrous event. For the purpose of easier reading the term "children" will be used throughout.

When children experience a traumatic incident in which people are seriously injured or killed, such as a terrorist attack they may respond with a wide range of varying emotions and difficulties. Many children will feel upset for a few weeks afterwards and then become happier again over time. Whereas other children may continue to feel anxious for much longer.

Just like adults, children may have many questions about what happened and why that can be challenging to answer.

We all need to be aware that it isn't necessary for a child to have direct experience of being at the scene of the incident to be affected by it. Simply seeing news stories about it or being told about it by someone at school can be enough to have a response.

Parents, carers and other significant adults have an important role in helping children by providing emotional and practical support. However, it can be difficult if the adult has also been affected by the same incident. In these circumstances it is advised that another trusted adult offer support to the child and the family.


By the end of this course we hope you will:

Have gained an understanding of the ways in which a major incident may affect a child or young person

Have explored how you can help support a child or young person after a major incident

Have considered how a major incident related bereavement affects a child or young person

Know when to seek more help and how you can do this

Consider more:

What are you hoping to get out of this topic?

Will you be thinking about a specific child or young person as you do this course?

Throughout this course you will see the Personal Journal link, below, this is a place where you can note your thoughts as you go through the course - this is confidential to you.

Personal Journal