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.
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:
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.
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).
Successfully implementing trauma-informed care (TIC) is challenging. Successfully measuring TIC is equally challenging. But with the Online ARTIC you can do both.
The Online ARTIC makes TIC assessment and program evaluation user-friendly. At the same time, it still requires thoughtful planning, staff time, and effort to get meaningful results.
Committing to trauma-informed care is the difficult part. With the Online ARTIC, measuring trauma-informed care is the easy part. Start today with 6 Easy Steps to Onboard the Online ARTIC.
Measuring Whether an Organization’s Trauma-Informed Care Efforts Are Working
As the movement toward trauma-informed care (TIC) continues to grow and evolve, organizations, systems, governing bodies, and funders are understandably asking, "How can we tell if we are making progress?" Many of us have experienced these powerful “aha” moments of TIC: