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News & Events

Supporting Children in Understanding and Coping with Natural Disasters

fkaCS extends its deepest sympathies to all families, communities and services affected by the bushfire crisis. We would also like to extend our appreciation to the Victorian Fire Services and those firefighters joining the fight from abroad.

Although many of us would have enjoyed well-earned breaks, our celebrations have been touched with a great deal of sadness, shock and anxiety. On return to work, services will find themselves supporting children and families that have experienced the trauma of bush fires, either first hand or through the media.

In many instances, early childhood professionals themselves will also be trying to come to terms with the loss we have faced both individually and as a nation. Within our work with young children, it is important that we are equipped to discuss the natural disasters we face and support the wellbeing of children, families and colleagues.

What Happened to MY World? was first published by Jim Greenman in response to hurricane Katrina in 2005. Greenman generously offered permission for the publication to be adapted to suit the Australian climate, in response to the 2009 Black Saturday fires and the 2009 Queensland floods, sharing the voices of Australian families who experienced these natural disasters first hand.

This resource is aimed at helping both early childhood professionals and families build knowledge and practices to support children in their understanding of what is happening in the world around them. This resource also describes how children may present their anxiety, confusion and grief within these circumstances. There are a range of practical strategies for talking to children about what they have witnessed - whether in person or via the media - along with ways to build resilience that cover a range of age groups. 

We hope that sharing What Happened to MY World? with you and your communities will prove a helpful resource not only in supporting children, families and Educators alike, but also in continuing to strengthen our resilience as a nation as we face this challenge together. 

View the publication here.

Date published: 14.1.2020

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