The Traumatic Stress Institute fosters the transformation of organizations and service systems to trauma-informed care (TIC) through the delivery of whole-system consultation, professional training, coaching, and research.

Head Start--Measuring Trauma-Informed Care

May 6, 2020 / by John Engel, MA

Thanks to new federal funding, Head Start programs have the opportunity to develop and improve trauma-informed approaches to support children, families and staff impacted by adverse experiences.

The Office of Head Start Guidance on Implementing Trauma-Informed Approach resource, included in the funding announcement, states exposure to trauma is more prevalent than commonly believed and results in lasting effects on the physical and mental health of children and families. Head Start and Early Head Start programs, the resource notes, play a critical role in buffering the impact of trauma by promoting resilience for children, families and staff, the funding brief asserts.

The quality improvement funding now available offers Head Start programs the opportunity to provide essential training and coaching in trauma-informed approaches for staff, governing boards and Policy Councils. Just as importantly, funding can be used to access measurement tools and systems for assessing the impact of these quality improvement efforts.

Several of the leading trauma training organizations use the ARTIC (Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care) Scale, a widely-used and psychometrically valid assessment that measures staff attitudes toward trauma-informed care. Using the Online ARTIC, baseline data on current staff attitudes toward trauma-informed care can be easily collected using a smart phone, tablet or computer and additional data collections can be repeated to assess the impact of training and coaching over time.

Detailed reports automatically offer leaders greater confidence when making data-driven decisions about trauma-informed quality improvements and demonstrating to stakeholders progress in becoming trauma-informed. Confidential individual reports are also included, building staff confidence and capacity to deliver trauma-informed services.

Currently, the Traumatic Stress Institute is offering a 30% COVID-19 Hardship Discount on all Online ARTIC purchases - providing relief to organizations that would like to proceed with TIC measurement at a time when many organizations are experiencing unexpected financial challenges.

Learn More About the ARTIC

Measure what matters, measure trauma-informed care

Tags: Measurement & Research, Head Start

John Engel, MA

Written by John Engel, MA

John Engel is a Program Coordinator for the Traumatic Stress Institute of the Klingberg Family Centers, where he serves as a trainer and consultant for client agencies adopting whole system change to trauma-informed care. John also facilitates strategic change initiatives and product development for TSI, including development and launch of the Online ARTIC Scale. Additionally, John has been piloting mindfulness in the workplace, including design and delivery of a national training webinar entitled Mindfulness in the Workplace: Practices for Sustaining Trauma-Informed Care, design and facilitation of a day-long virtual training event, Mindfulness: The Inner Work of Racial Healing and Trauma-Informed Care, and a Monthly RC Mindfulness pilot in 2021. Since 2011, John has written a monthly column, The Fatherhood Journey, for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, with a mission of promoting public and private conversations about fatherhood.