The CDC features eye-opening statistics regarding trauma on their website. For example, one in four children experiences some type of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. These are ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and have long-lasting impacts on children if not properly addressed.
What is trauma-informed care?
Trauma is common. Trauma-informed care acts on the assumption that patients don’t need to take an ACE test in order to reveal whether they’ve been impacted by trauma. It’s the idea that an individual is more likely than not to have a history of trauma. Thus, care should always be trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive to ensure that those who do have these experiences are protected throughout the process.
How can trauma-informed care be implemented?
Trauma-informed care prompts a change to organizational culture. It emphasizes understanding and respect, and it seeks to avoid re-traumatization in both patients and service providers. Here are some of the things that your organization may need to do in order to achieve trauma-informed care:
- Address any potential re-traumatizing policies and procedures
- Establish an internal trauma team
- Ensure administrative commitment to integrating a trauma-informed culture
- Provide introductory training to all staff
- Include provider and provides in planning and evaluation of services
- Conduct early and respectful trauma screening and assessment for all
Trauma-informed care seeks to create a physically and emotionally safe environment for those being treated. In this situation, the provider and the trauma survivor will establish trust and boundaries, and the provider can help to promote resilience in ways that offer healing to the patient. Trauma-informed care seeks to understand the whole individual who needs services, and this includes the childhood trauma that they bring with them.
How does trauma-informed care help children?
Trauma-informed care is especially helpful for children who can gain healing throughout treatment. Whether this is their pediatric doctor or a counselor, these individuals have the opportunity to build trust and create a collaborative relationship while providing them much-needed care. Trauma-informed care is specifically devised to address those who have suffered trauma (a large proportion of our population) and promote healing. When care is not created with trauma in mind, many of your policies, procedures, and treatments may adversely impact children and lead to re-traumatization.
If you’re an organization that provides care to patients, consider updating to a trauma-informed model to ensure you’re serving them most effectively. Motivational speaker Derek Clark provides trainings and speaks at conferences to specifically address childhood trauma. The opportunity to create an environment of healing and growth for society’s children is yours. Contact Derek today to ensure you’re doing everything you can for those impacted by trauma.