Head Start agencies across the U.S. are increasingly focused on the prevalence of childhood adversity and trauma impacting the children and families they serve. Many agencies have leveraged Federal Head Start Quality Improvement funds (and continue to do so) to both implement and evaluate trauma-informed care (TIC) initiatives.
Monthly RC Mindfulness: Come Fill Your Cup - April 2021
More than 40 RC trainers, champions and staff attended the first RC Monthly Mindfulness session! We at TSI could not be more excited about the strong turnout for this new RC offering for client agencies. As promised, this blog offers a brief summary of the session, initial feedback from participants, and resources to advance learning and practice.
In recent years, trauma-informed care has become the standard of care in behavioral health, residential treatment, healthcare and K-12 school systems. Now early childhood programs are increasingly becoming trauma-informed in their work with young children and families. As with trauma-informed care in general, there is so much information available on the internet that it can be difficult knowing where to start.
Head Start and Early Head Start continue to lead the way in promoting school readiness and family engagement for vulnerable young children. It’s no surprise, then, that Head Start is increasingly focused on implementing trauma-informed care as highlighted in its Guidance to Implementing Trauma-Informed Care brief, noting that:
Every agency that implements trauma-informed care wonders about an apparent conflict with productivity standards. For example, one of our clients asked: “Have you yet to encounter a system that has figured out how to make productivity standards and trauma informed care co-exist? I am starting to feel that it isn't possible, as productivity standards are what provide revenue for agencies and programs but also are the reason why a work-life balance feels unimaginable.”
These two are neither opposites nor mutually incompatible. In fact, good trauma-informed care should ultimately improve productivity.
The Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care (ARTIC) Scale has been approved for inclusion on the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, a nationally recognized registry of evidence-based practices and measurement tools recommended for use in child welfare settings. CEBC’s mission is to advance the use of those practices and tools in child welfare settings by identifying, selecting, and maintaining an online clearinghouse of the tools.
In Spring 2021, the Traumatic Stress Institute will convene a 12- to 16-month Pilot Learning Collaborative for organizations serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) that are interested in implementing trauma-informed care (TIC). TSI is uniquely positioned to convene this Learning Collaborative, having helped more than 70 organizations across North America embed TIC into the fabric of their organizations.
Organizations often see measurement and program evaluation as a luxury or something extra to do - they'll do it if they have extra cash or if it's required by a grant or a change package they purchase. It’s viewed as something that will tell them at the end whether the intervention moved the needle.
A large-scale study with 1,395 human service providers, health professionals, and educators from 17 different settings established further support for the psychometric properties of the Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care (ARTIC) Scale. The study entitled “Validation of the Attitudes Related to Trauma Informed Care Scale (ARTIC)”—by lead author Courtney Baker, Ph.D. from Tulane University and a team of others—was published online in Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, a journal of the American Psychological Association (APA).
New agencies and staff often experience high energy, validation, a revitalized sense of hope, and an eagerness to implement Risking Connection (RC) once they have completed the 3-Day RC Basic training that is part of TSI’s Whole-System Change Model. So how do you work to keep that spark alive after the training has come and gone, especially in supporting your new agency to achieve a true trauma-informed organizational culture? One way we have achieved this in Yukon is through the celebration of RC Week.