Intergenerational trauma

What is intergenerational trauma?

If Stolen Generations survivors don’t have the opportunity to heal from trauma, they’re likely to live in a state of distress, which can lead to a range of negative outcomes for themselves and their descendants.

Their children may experience difficulties with attachment, disconnection from their extended families and culture and high levels of stress from family and community members who are dealing with the impacts of trauma. This can create developmental issues for children, who are particularly susceptible to distress at a young age. This creates a cycle of trauma, where the impact is passed from one generation to the next.

In Australia, intergenerational trauma predominantly affects the children, grandchildren and future generations of the Stolen Generations.

Stolen Generations survivors might also pass on the impacts of institutionalisation, finding it difficult to know how to nurture their children because they were denied the opportunity to be nurtured themselves.

Intergenerational trauma animation

Breaking the cycle of intergenerational trauma

The Healing Foundation is working to end intergenerational trauma by creating resources and programs that strengthen cultural connectedness and identity and improve the social and emotional wellbeing of our young people.

We’ve supported learning environments resulting in improved educational results, family relationships, physical health and the reduction of children passing through the child protection system.

Our Stolen Generations Resource Kit for Teachers and Students has been created to educate young people about the Stolen Generations and make it easy for school communities to start the conversation using facts, real examples and stories.

At the Murri School in Queensland, therapeutic intervention, service coordination, family case work, family camps, and cultural activities have been combined to create a holistic healing environment for students. The program brings together family support workers, psychologists, health professionals and healing aware trauma informed teachers to create a culturally appropriate, supportive environment for students and their families.
To read more about our projects, please visit our intergenerational trauma projects page.

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