This month we are concentrating on sustaining trauma-informed care. As hard as it is to implement trauma-informed care, it is equally difficult to sustain it. We are here to help.


Active Administrative Support is Criticalleadership team
Demonstrated by:

  • Provide resources for training
  • Willing to tolerate some chaos in the transitions
  • Praise any patient and relationship-enhancing activities
  • Avoiding undoing the effort through scapegoating or emphasizing control
  • Value and provide opportunity for supervision

 Training for all Staff is Essential

Demonstrated by:

  • Use training to develop a common language throughout the agency
  • In-house trainers become leaders in the change effort
  • Require regular refreshers
  • Develop a plan for new employees
  • Choose a training systems (consider Risking Connection) and train all staff

Supervision (see next week’s post)

Treatment planning
Demonstrated by:

  • Articulate how activities, recreation, and daily life addresses trauma symptoms
  • Make link between relationships and trauma symptoms clear in plans
  • What do we think heals? Incorporate in treatment plans
  • Treatment planning expresses a theory of change, make sure it is trauma-informed

Staff meetings
Demonstrated by:

  • Teach concepts in each meeting
  • Model concepts in how staff interacts with each other
  • Create a culture in which people feel safe to discuss mixed feelings towards clients and ask for help
  • Encourage appropriate respectful conflict


Demonstrated by:

  • Articulate your philosophy of treatment
  • Write a policy for Behavior management- what is and is not permitted
  • Create a handout for parents and guardians explianing how and why your program operates

Hiring and promotion
Demonstrated by:

  • Hire and promote people who show relationship and healing skills
  • Develop questions for hiring that bring out the candidate’s philosophy
  • Integrate trauma-informed actions into job descriptions

Publicize and celebrate
Demonstrated by:

  • Celebrate and publicize success internally and externally
  • Choose and share the measures that will demonstarte the changes you expect, such as:
    • Reduce restraints
    • Reduce turnover
    • Positive discharges
  • Track these
  • Follow up

Pay attention to vicarious traumatization and transformation
Demonstrated by:

  • Create a culture in which VT is well known and easily discussed
  • Include inquiry into VT in supervision
  • Discuss VT in staff meetings
  • Hold repeated training to address VT
  • Process sad and/or scary events together
  • Created shared rituals
  • Encourage many mechanisms for staff recognition
  • Have fun and laugh together

Would you like a more extensive list of ways that administrators can support and sustain trauma-informed care?

Click Here for Your Checklist

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