Exploring Christian Faith in the Context of Childhood Trauma
13th September 2021
Local adoption and fostering charity ‘Home for Good: Leicester’ is hosting a roundtable to listen and share experiences about exploring, or helping others explore, the Christian faith in the context of childhood trauma. The event will take place on Monday 13 September, 7.30-9.30pm at Hope Community Church, 56 Bull Head Street, Wigston, Leicester LE18 1PA.

Findings from this event will be used to help Home for Good develop resources for churches seeking to become more trauma-informed. If you are interested in joining us for this event, please rsvp to leicester@homeforgood.org.uk by 10th September 2021. If you are unable to attend, but would like to make a contribution to the conversation, or stay in touch with future work in this area, please use the same email address to contact Debbie Hill at Home for Good: Leicester.

Home for Good has for a number of years delivered a church engagement programme which aims to equip churches to better understand the needs of looked after and care experienced children and young people, and the families, and to be an inclusive place for them. As they develop this work further, we would like to understand how people with experience of significant and complex childhood trauma engage with and explore the Christian faith.

Complex, prolonged and significant childhood trauma, such as that often experienced by those who are, or have been in the care system, can negatively impact upon that person's Internal Working Model (IWM) – the way they see themselves, others and the world around them. Christian concepts such as grace, mercy, forgiveness, redemption, hope, unconditional love and being fathered by a loving God can conflict with a negative IWM. This can be to such a degree that a person with a complex trauma history may feel unable to engage in conversations about the Christian faith, may have a lot of questions and are likely to need sensitive and empathic support as they wrestle with faith in the context of complex and often overwhelming thoughts, memories and feelings.

The following needs have therefore been identified:
1. Children, young people and adults with complex trauma histories, who are seeking to explore the Christian faith, need to be understood and able to ask questions in a safe place with people who are willing to step into the “space” of trauma and see things from their world view. Even if answers are not always possible, sensitive conversations should be facilitated.
2. Christians who are parenting, caring for or supporting people with complex trauma histories need to know how to engage in meaningful, sensitive and empathic faith conversations – this may be through the provision of training, resources and through the wider support of the church.
3. The church (including church leaders, pastoral workers and youth workers) needs access to support that will enable it to become more trauma-informed.


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