The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families are piloting a unique approach to helping children overcome trauma

17th August 2015 By: Davina Metters

Thanks to the kind assistance of the Joanna Simpson Foundation, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families will be piloting a unique approach to helping children who have been the victim of domestic homicide to overcome trauma. The intervention has been running successfully in the United States but is currently unavailable in the UK.

The Foundation was set up in the memory of Joanna Simpson who was killed by her estranged husband. The Foundation runs fundraising events to support new initiatives to improve the help given to the children of families blighted by domestic violence.

The Foundation’s Chair Hetti Barkworth-Nanton commented: “I am delighted to be able to make this award to the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families whose reputation is immense in this field.

Our aim is to provide targeted investments which have the potential to change the landscape of care given to children and their families. Together, we are hoping that this pioneering work, spearheaded by Yale University in the United States, will be brought here to help children affected by tragedy.

All the evidence shows that children affected by domestic violence are more likely to go on to repeat the behaviour so it could not be more important that we act to help children both now and for their long term wellbeing, and ultimately break this cycle of violence.

This is the Foundation’s first award and we hope to be able to support other initiatives in the coming months and years.”

The work will see several of our clinicians at the Centre being trained by experts at Yale University. The Centre and Yale already work together collaboratively on a number of projects so this will serve as an extension of our already fruitful partnership.The intervention aims to support children and their carers in the immediate aftermath of the killing with a view to preventing psychological problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

David Trickey, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families said: “The Centre is incredibly grateful to the Joanna Simpson Foundation for its generosity.

I value both its support for this work and their expertise in the area of domestic violence. With its assistance, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families looks forward to piloting this unique intervention in the UK, working with children and their carers to prevent the development and manifestation of psychological problems.”