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Impact of bushfires – support for students and families

Impact of bushfires – support for students and families

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the families who have been impacted by the devastating bushfires across Australia, and particularly within the Shoalhaven. Much of the school community will have been impacted either directly or indirectly. Trauma, grief and loss reactions are common in the aftermath of a natural disaster and we are committed to supporting the well-being of students who are experiencing difficulties as a result.

Support at school

  • All teachers are resourced and informed about how to safely incorporate education and classroom discussion about the impact of bushfires and recovery to support children with accurate information which is sensitively delivered to assist them to process their own experiences.
  • Staff are supported to understand how to identify students who may be at risk or experiencing distress.
  • Students identified as experiencing distress will be referred to the School Psychologist for support where parents consent to this.  Our school psychologists are highly experienced in supporting children with recovery from trauma, and can provide assessment and brief intervention.  Where relevant, the need for further supports and referrals will also be identified.  
  • Parents with concerns about their children can refer to the School Psychologists via Student Services, and children and young people are also able to self-refer through Student Services.
  • The School Psychologists may arrange therapeutic and psychoeducational groups to assist students to understand and process their experiences where this is required.

Getting involved – a proactive response

One impact of trauma and recovery from traumatic events is a sense of helplessness. Having an opportunity to do something to assist others who have been impacted is often very helpful, and can be associated with a positive future focus and enhanced well-being. Participating in fundraising provides an important opportunity for students to achieve a sense of satisfaction that they are actively contributing to and assisting others in need.

The College will arrange, and support students to engage in, fundraising activities to support those impacted by bushfires. A broader focus will be considered to provide opportunities for children to participate in activities which contribute to recovery of our local fauna, environment and economy.  

Additional support for families

There is also a wealth of information and support for families that can be found at the links below:

If you are concerned for the wellbeing of your child, or family, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the school by emailing the office, office@nac.nsw.edu.au.

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