The Katina Woodruff Children’s Foundation serves clients who are experiencing post-traumatic stress, dislocation and major life-shift adjustments associated with settling into a vastly different culture. Most of the children are suffering grief – numerous children have been orphaned prior to being sent to live in Australia. All of Katina’s clients are suffering the grief of disassociation from their extended family network and familiar culture and language.
The Foundation works with children who have recently arrived in Australia to assist them in:
- Overcoming past trauma and current suffering;
- Adjusting to cultural and linguistic relocation while preserving connections with first cultures; and
- Equipping them for full participation in Australian life and society.
What do we actually do?
- Children showing signs of acute suffering and distress are identified
- We determine the causes of trauma through exploratory play sessions within the school and home settings, including siblings and parents
- We then design and implement tailored programs for each child based on their cultural needs and action plans which help other practitioners to more adequately address the suffering and distress of the child
- Demonstrate, train and mentor others to use the methods developed by the Foundation
Our programs take place in the child’s school and neighbourhood communities bringing about understanding and cultural sensitivity between Australians and new arrivals.
Katina Woodruff, as a Child Anthropologist, offers rare highly specialised skills and appreciation to meet and assist each child to overcome their own particular package of fears, disabilities and dysfunction. Katina helps each migrant child to come to terms with where they are and that their new environment can be safe, nurturing, and empowering for their own social, emotional, and intellectual education and development. Katina works with allied professionals in the child’s life, such as teachers, social workers, and school psychologists, to ensure maximum knowledge about the child so they can leverage benefit to the child’s progress. Western Australia is fortunate to have Katina’s knowledge, skills, and commitment to make a profound and enduring positive impact on these migrant children’s lives.
Ann Macbeth (Annimac) Futurist/Child Psychologist
Katina has worked tirelessly with students who would otherwise largely not have the opportunity to reach their personal potentials. Katina has a wonderful rapport with students and staff, and is highly professional in all aspects of her work.
Dorothy O’Reilly, Deputy Principal (CEO) Intensive English Centre