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.”
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.
Successfully implementing trauma-informed care (TIC) is challenging. Successfully measuring TIC is equally challenging. But with the Online ARTIC you can do both.
Part III: Mindfulness for Trauma Treaters and Survivors – First, Do No Harm
This is the third in a series of blog posts on the role of mindfulness in sustaining trauma-informed care.
Mindfulness practice can support transformative healing. But it can also cause harm, especially for trauma survivors. Maximizing healing and minimizing harm is imperative for trauma-informed treaters and champions, so the emergence of trauma-sensitive mindfulness (TSM) is both timely and welcome.