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Trauma Responsive Care: The Foundations

Trauma means feeling unsafe, alone and out of control. Responding to trauma means we have to help people to feel safe and in control. The most effective way to do this is by connecting, in supporting and caring relationships.

Trauma Responsive Care teaches your staff exactly what trauma is and how it affects people. But this increased knowledge and understanding is not enough. Staffs also need practical, easy-to-implement skills to use Trauma Responsive Care. These skills have to be supported and reinforced by management. That’s why we offer the CALMER Skills: science-based techniques that are clear, easy to apply, and based on the latest trauma research.

Trauma Responsive Care is Relationally-Based

Trauma Responsive Care teaches that people with trauma need to feel safe, connected, and in control. The fastest road to safe and in control is through being connected with caring human beings. These safe, stable relationships heal trauma. Trauma Responsive Care aligns with other relationship-based philosophies like:

  • Person-centered Planning

  • Gentle Teaching

  • Positive Culture

The relational elements of Trauma Responsive Care also blend easily with more behavioral approaches such as ABA.

Trauma Responsive Care is an Emotional Universal Precaution

We think screening for histories of trauma is important. But trauma screening has its limits. Many people supported by human services may not know or report their trauma histories, so there’s a lot of trauma helping professionals will never catch. The other limit of screening is that no instrument can measure the extent of ‘little t’ trauma-the daily stress of feeling misunderstood, overwhelmed, different, invalidated or unvalued.

Trauma Responsive Care solves this problem by being a universal precaution. Just like infectious disease, we treat trauma as something you assume is there. Your staff already know universal precautions from First Aid training-using gloves, bleach and other simple measures to treat cuts and scrapes. They protect themselves from infection as if someone is sick, whether they actually are or not. We treat everyone in the organization as if they need to feel safe, connected and in control to heal from trauma. We catch the people you haven’t identified with trauma, and it’s good for everybody else too.

Trauma Responsive Care is Organization-Wide

Trauma Responsive Care has to apply to everyone, from management to maintenance. Applying Trauma Responsive Care throughout your organization makes safe, connected and in control everyone’s job. When this message comes from the top down, change has a better chance to become permanent. People pay attention to what their boss pays attention to, so we work with everyone in the agency.

Trauma Responsive Care: Click for more information on the elements of Trauma Responsive Care and potential outcomes. Or go back to Introduction or Home.

Trauma Responsive Care