Ashleigh’s day-to-day work is far from routine: supporting ECEC teams to tackle trauma
Ashleigh Dellis is a Child and Family Consultant at the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, attending early childhood education and care (ECEC) services to implement trauma-informed practices and create safe and nurturing environments for children who have experienced trauma.
Ms Dellis joined the Trauma Consultancy Service (TraCS) at the Foundation nearly two years ago, and works hard to empower educators to overcome challenges in early learning settings where children and families who have experienced trauma are in attendance.
Her journey to joining the Alannah & Madeline Foundation was led by her deep passion for children’s rights and the healing power of relationships. Her background includes 15 years of experience in children and family support, specialising in casework and counselling.
“I’m really passionate about children’s rights, children’s needs, healing and the power of relationships and the healing properties that can happen when there is support to help connect and repair relationships,” she explained.
Her dedication to children’s well-being is evident in her commitment to understanding their experiences through a sense of empathy, curiosity and play and letting the children tell or show her what they need at that moment.
Each of her workdays are individual and “far from routine”, being tailored to the unique needs of each service she supports.
Along with the TraCS team, Ms Dellis is committed to understanding the underlying needs behind children’s challenging behaviours, and to advocating for children who have experienced trauma, assisting with disclosures of abuse, and guiding educators through difficult issues such as children experiencing grief, loss, or illnesses.
“You’re walking alongside these educators and building their confidence in their ability and honing in on their strengths in their knowledge and understanding of trauma,” she said.
Seeing children feeling safe and secure in their ECEC setting, and feeling connected to them and to their journey is the aspect of the role she enjoys the most, valuing the opportunity to build relationships and empower educators to recognise their vital role in shaping children’s development and sense of attachment.
The impact of her work and the changes embedded in the services she works with have a flow on effect, not just to one child, but the whole room.
“Trauma informed practice isn’t just for children who have experienced trauma and vulnerabilities. It supports all children. It’s a way where all children feel safe, seen, heard and secure and connected.”
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