Trauma-informed care is an approach to engaging people with trauma histories that recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives. The approach seeks to change the service provider’s paradigm from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What has happened to you?”1
Trauma-informed providers integrate trauma awareness and the following principles2 in all aspects of service delivery:
Safety ▪ Collaboration ▪ Choice
Empowerment ▪ Trustworthiness
Personnel understand the emotional, learning and behavioral impacts that traumatic experiences can have on a young person, how these may affect their family, and conditions that support healing.
Child-serving agencies and programs can raise overall staff awareness by making specific modifications in both administrative and service-level practice to better respond to the needs and strengths of trauma survivors. A corresponding shift in provider settings, attitudes and practices helps welcome, engage and sustain these relationships.
THRIVE trainings, technical assistance and consultation support organizational transformation. Coaches work with all staff from receptionists, clinicians and administrators to senior management, as well as youth, families and related community service providers to help interactions and assessments become trauma-informed, family driven, youth guided and culturally and linguistically competent.
1National Center for Trauma-Informed Care
2 Adapted from R. Fallot, M. Harris, 10/07, The National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, Trauma-Informed Systems of Care: An Update.