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.
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.
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.
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.
As part of our Whole System Change Model, the Traumatic Stress Institute offers training to trainers of foster parents. This sort of training requires honoring the unique position and perspective of foster parents, and so it is a different situation than training staff.
Angela is very upset. As the Coordinator of the Group Home she has worked hard to be supportive and caring towards her staff. She has been proud of her team, their good relationships, and their low turnover. She has provided many staff recognition and fun activities. But lately she is hearing only complaints. A recent staff survey revealed that staff feels that management undercuts them with the youth. Staff have issues with her, the unit supervisor, and the therapist. Furthermore, Angela is starting to not like the staff much, either. The team has asked for an outside consultation.
What exactly does “new normal” mean? It is an expression that has become mainstream vernacular since the COVID-19 pandemic. But in the field of trauma response and recovery, it is a term that has long been used to provide hope for survivors.
Supporting Trauma-Informed Transformation in Settings Serving First Nation Communities
Beginning in 2010, the Traumatic Stress Institute began supporting the Yukon Territory (Canada) child welfare system to make the transition to trauma-informed care (TIC).