New story book provides practical resource to help children living with trauma
The Western Australian Government has released a story book, Peta’s Yarn, as part of the 16 Days in WA campaign to stop violence against women and children.
Described as a “sensitive, responsive and practical resource” to help children with a lived experience of trauma, Peta’s Yarn was launched late last week by Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk, with more than 100 echidna puggle toys handmade by NanaLinks ladies group volunteers to support the launch.
“We are very grateful for the work of the NanaLinks women, who deserve great respect for helping to promote opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to maintain and develop a deep, connected sense of self and culture,” Ms McGurk said.
The book stars Peta the puggle and Sam the cockatoo, and is the latest title in a series of therapeutic children’s books that feature Australian animals and use metaphorical situations to examine ‘tough stuff’ experienced by children that can lead to big emotions.
Co-authored by Department of Communities child protection expert Verity Roennfeldt and Kelly Thompson, the authors said they feel “a great sense of pride” in developing the books for children in care.
“It can be so difficult for children who have suffered trauma to process and come to terms with what they are feeling,” Ms Roennfeldt said.
“By creating the story animals, and making them the heroes of relatable stories, children in out-of-home care are reminded that they are not alone and are very much loved for and cared for.”
Peta’s Yarn is designed to be utilised by parents, foster carers, child protection workers, family violence support services, educators, psychologists and others to help young people – including those with a lived-experience of trauma – to explore and understand their emotions in a safe and supported way.
The books are part of a wider Story Animals program that includes an initiative to design and create handmade fabric plush toys. These handcrafted plush toys double as therapeutic child protection practice tools to support safety behaviours, strengthening cultural planning and connection for vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with their families, communities and care teams.
Distribution of the stories, which will go to various stakeholders, including 40 women’s refuges across WA, residential care facilities and local child protection districts will take place in the coming days.
Further information on the 16 Days in WA campaign is available online.