Professional Certificate in Responding to Childhood Trauma

Course Overview

The Professional Certificate in Responding to Childhood Trauma, focussing on foundational therapeutic skills, is the third of three Certificates designed as part of the PERCAN Project. The project aims to support WA based professionals (e.g., therapists, family support workers, psychologists etc) currently working with children and young people to develop their specific knowledge and skills around children and young people who have experienced abuse, neglect and abuse-related trauma, with a focus on child sexual abuse.

This course specifically, aims to develop professionals’ knowledge, skills, and the application of these to provide trauma-specific therapeutic interventions to enhance outcomes for these children and young people.

In this course participants will:

  • build on their understanding and assessment of childhood abuse
  • build on their understanding of the impact of trauma on children’s development and functioning,
  • extend their knowledge and skills by developing the professional self, therapeutic techniques and strategies, and approaches to skills development in clients.

Course Objectives

  1. Identify the ethical, trauma-informed, evidence-informed and intrapersonal skills and knowledge required when working in a therapeutic role with traumatised children and young people.
  2. Critically reflect on trauma-informed therapeutic techniques and strategies in practice.
  3. Apply trauma-informed practice knowledge and skills to enhance clients’ functioning.
  4.  Demonstrate a developing understanding of the diverse cultural contexts of trauma and what enacting cultural safety when working in a therapeutic role entails.

You will extend on your understanding of trauma-informed practice and trauma-informed assessment, by developing understanding and skills in providing trauma-focused treatment. You will be provided with the therapeutic skills and strategies used to lessen the impacts of abuse across a range of areas that are often present in childhood trauma. Across each topic area you will be encouraged to reflect on your professional self and explore the application of responses across the whole system and through a cultural lens. Through a community of practice, you will be provided with the opportunity to apply these skills and therapeutic responses to your own practice and through case examples, allowing you to reflect on your current practice and apply new skills within a peer supervision model.

Course Structure

The total time commitment expected for this course is 115 hours. The course will run over a 12-week period and will include independent study, online learning activities, written assessments and fortnightly Community of Practice sessions, facilitated online by child trauma specialists. Specifically, the Course involves :

  • Online Community of Practice Workshops (six sessions; 2 hours per fortnight)
  • Self-paced online learning activities (approximately 8 hours per fortnight)
  • Self-directed learning including reflection on practice and assessment preparation (approximately 8 hours per fortnight)

2022 Course Calendar and Communities of Practice (CoP) dates

Intake 1: Commences Monday 4 April 2022, concludes Friday 24 June 2022.
Intake 2: Commences Monday 15 August 2022, concludes Friday 4 November 2022.

Week 1: Topic 1: Introduction to Trauma-Focused Treatment
Week 2: Topic 2: Ethical Practice and CoP 1
Week 3: Topic 3: Therapeutic Relationships
Week 4: Topic 3 (Cont): Therapeutic Relationships and CoP 2
Week 5: Topic 4: Treatment Planning
Week 6: Topic 5: Taking a Multi-layered approach and Creating a Shared Understanding and CoP 3
Week 7: Topic 6: Developing Emotional Capacity and Affect Regulation
Week 8: Topic 7: Building Healthy Relationships and CoP 4
Week 9: Topic 8: Making Positive Behavioural Change and Topic 9: Working With Negative Thoughts And Core Beliefs
Week 10: Topic 10: Supporting Occupational Development and CoP 5
Week 11: Topic 11: Managing Painful Memories
Week 12: Topic 12: Building Identity and Sense of Self and CoP 6


Details of assessment submission and return are listed under each assessment task. Assessment tasks will be returned to you within two weeks of submission.

There are three formal assessments for this course and students must demonstrate competence in all assessment pieces to successfully complete the course.

Assignment 1: Ethical Practice Quiz

This assignment gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of ethical practice when working with children and young people with trauma, through a quiz. The quiz questions and a short answer question will be focussed on applying skills and knowledge practice you will most need to consider in your work, including ethics, bias, practice limitations, and cultural competence.

Assignment 2: Critical Reflection

For this assignment you will use a case from your own practice (or a provided case study) to critically reflect on your application of trauma-informed and trauma-focused practice. You will be asked to consider whether you would change your practice knowing what you have learnt.

Assignment 3: Treatment Plan

This assignment gives you the opportunity to pull together your learning from across the course to construct a detailed trauma-informed treatment plan. You will use your knowledge of assessment and formulation to develop a treatment plan relevant to your sector, addressing target areas and considering culture.
All assessments are graded pass/ fail and successful completion of all assignments is required to complete the course.

How to apply

Applications are now closed for the final intake of this course.

Please email if you have any questions.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are required to meet the following criteria. You will:

  • be a Western Australian resident
  • be over 18 years of age, and have access to a computer, internet and appropriate video conferencing equipment as Community of Practice seminars will operate via Zoom;
  • have a current Working With Children Check, National Police Clearance (valid within 12 months) or equivalent (e.g WA Police ID);
  • currently work (or have recent prior experience) in a role with clients who have experienced child abuse or neglect and potential trauma;
  • have graduated from the Professional Certificate of Assessing Childhood Trauma

In addition, you must have one of the following:

  • an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification in education, youth work, welfare, social work, psychology, social science or equivalent; or
  • an Advanced Diploma or Diploma qualification in community services, youth work, nursing or welfare; or
  • recent experience (a minimum of 2 years full time or equivalent) working in a community sector organisation or relevant equivalent, in a role involving self-directed application of knowledge, exercise of judgement and decision making responsibilities, working with children, young people and/or families.