ECA is deeply troubled by the devastating impact of the bushfires burning across Australia. Our sympathies are with those who have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods as well as those who have been displaced and/or experienced the destruction of precious environments and wildlife.
Recovery from these fires will take many years but in the short term we have identified some resources that may be useful.
- Be You Bushfires response: Resource pack for educators, Be You has also received an additional $8M to strengthen support to bushfire affected communities, which will enable the initiative to work with schools and early learning services in current bushfire affected areas and other stakeholders to deploy Be You workers, run evidence-based training, provide information for parents and carers and help educators to connect children and families to available mental health services. Call 1300 22 4636 (24 hours/7 days a week) or fill out the contact form if you need urgent support.
- ECA Blog Bushfire smoke and young children: what to do.
- Emerging Minds podcast episode with Michelle Roberts on the ongoing psychosocial needs of children following a community trauma.
- The Australian Psychological Association has an information sheet about helping children who have been affected by bushfires.
- The free Every Child article, Our trauma odyssey by Bernadette Hayes examines the process of becoming a trauma-informed school.
- This video from Playschool explains emergency planning.
- Watch Strathewen community: a bushfire recovery story 10 years in the making, a video developed by Emerging Minds.
- Early Connections’ bushfire social story supports children and adults with autism understand the bushfires and evacuations.
- Be You fact sheet How to provide support after a natural disaster
- Be You fact sheet Impact of natural disasters on mental health
- Be You fact sheet Educator wellbeing after a natural disaster
- Signs of possible trauma in children and adolescents, a fact sheet by the Australian National University.
- The Australian Red Cross has developed bushfire recovery lesson plans to support teachers and educators, including a plan for children aged 3-5 and for children aged 6-8 years.
- Emerging Minds Community Trauma Toolkit offers resources tailored to suit different audiences, including toolkits for parents and caregivers as well as for educators.
- Victorian Education Department, Bushfire Recovery resources for early years.
- NSW Department of Education advice for parents, teachers and students following bushfires.
- Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network (ACATLGN), teacher resource for pre-school age children.
- Strathewen community: A bushfire recovery story 10 years in the making, Emerging Minds.
- Recover from disasters factsheets from the Red Cross.
- Teaching Children About Bushfires from The Aussie Childcare Network.
- In this one-hour video presentation, Clinical Psychologist Nicola Palfrey from the Australian National University’s Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network discusses how educators can help support students who may be impacted by the difficult bushfire season.
- Fire by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley.
- The Queensland Government Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service has children’s books exploring the impact of natural disasters–including Birdie and the Fire.
Free Every Child articles
- Our trauma odyssey by Bernadette Hayes (Every Child Volume 24, Number 2 2018) explores the process of becoming a trauma-informed school to better support children who have experienced trauma.
- Developing a ‘classroom as community’ approach to supporting young children’s wellbeing by Victoria Whitington and Elspeth McInnes (Every Child Volume 24, Number 1 2018) examines the difficulties faced by chronically stressed children.
- Supporting wellbeing by Jackie Brien (Every Child Volume 24 Number 1 2018) looks at how to support wellbeing within a demanding service.
- A holistic look at wellbeing by Tamara Cumming and Sandie Wong (Every Child Volume 25, Number 4 2019) breaks down the definition of wellbeing and how early childhood workplaces can support educator wellbeing.
- Addressing trauma and disadvantage in the early years by Dr Wendy Roberts (Every Child Volume 25 Number 3 2019) describes how early childhood educators are in a unique position to improve outcomes for young children who have experienced trauma.
Free or reduced-cost resources for bushfire affected services
We offer the below resources for free or at a reduced cost to bushfire affected services:
- Helping children with difficult things by Pam Linke.
- Working in partnership with families facing adversity by Nick Hopwood.
- The Circle of Security: Roadmap to building supportive relationships by Robyn Dolby.
- My feelings matter by Sara Stace.
Please call ECA on 1800 356 900 to discuss further; our phone lines are open from 9am—5pm (AEDT) Monday through Friday.