Adopting a trauma-informed approach is not accomplished through any single particular technique or checklist. It requires constant attention, caring awareness, sensitivity, and possibly a cultural change at an organizational level. On-going internal organizational assessment and quality improvement, as well as engagement with community stakeholders, will help to imbed this approach which can be augmented with organizational development and practice improvement.
Throughout the organization, staff and the people they serve, whether children or adults, feel physically and psychologically safe; the physical setting is safe and interpersonal interactions promote a sense of safety defined by those served is a high priority.
2. TRUSTWORTHINESS & TRANSPARENCY:
Organizational operations and decisions are conducted with transparency with the goal of building and maintaining trust with clients and family members, among staff, and others involved in the organization.
3. PEER SUPPORT:
Peer support and mutual self-help are key vehicles for establishing safety and hope, building trust, enhancing collaboration, and utilizing their stories and lived experience to promote recovery and healing. The term “Peers” refers to individuals with lived experiences of trauma, or in the case of children this may be family members of children who have experienced traumatic events and are key caregivers in their recovery. Peers have also been referred to as “trauma survivors.”
4. COLLABORATION & MUTUALITY:
Importance is placed on partnering and the leveling of power differences between staff and clients and among organizational staff from clerical and housekeeping personnel, to professional staff to administrators, that healing happens in relationships and in the meaningful sharing of power and decision-making. The organization recognizes that everyone has a role to play in a trauma-informed approach. As one expert stated: “one does not have of traditional cultural connections; incorporates to be a therapist to be therapeutic.”
5. EMPOWERMENT, VOICE & CHOICE
Throughout the organization and among the clients served, individual’s strengths and experiences are recognized and built upon. The organization fosters a belief in the primacy of the people served, in resilience, and in the ability of individuals, organizations, and communities to heal and promote recovery from trauma. The organization understands that the experience of trauma may be a unifying aspect in the lives of those who run the organization, who provide the services, and/ or who come to the organization for assistance and support.
6. CULTUAL, HISTORICAL & GENDER ISSUES:
The organization actively moves past cultural stereotypes and biases (e.g. based on race, and ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, gender identity, geography, etc. )offers, access to gender responsive services; leverages the healing value of traditional cultural connections; incorporates policies protocols, and processes that are responsive to the racial, ethic and cultural needs of individuals served; and recognizes and addresses historical trauma.
This is a snippet from SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach. View the full paper here: https://nhchc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/SAMHSAs-Concept-of-Trauma-and-Guidance-for-a-Trauma-Informed-Approach-July-2014.pdf