Becoming a Trauma-Informed
Gladys Noll Alvarez LISW
Trauma Informed Care Project Coordinator
Orchard Place/Child Guidance Center
Understanding trauma is not
just about acquiring
It’s about changing the way you
view the world.
Sandra Bloom, 2007
Trauma Informed Care (TIC)
is an organizational structure and treatment
framework that involves understanding, recognizing,
and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. It
emphasizes physical, psychological and
emotional safety for both consumers and
providers, and helps survivors rebuild a sense of
control and empowerment.
Trauma Informed agencies……..
• Avoid re-traumatizing
• Foster relationships that respect, teach, reinforce, and
encourage the family’s competence
• Screen for trauma-exposure prior to providing services.
• Collaborate across agencies to produce better
placement and process determinations for maltreated
young children.
• Train and sustain staff
• Set program policy and evaluate the effectiveness of
those programs using a trauma-informed perspective
Resource for child welfare….
• updated in 2013
 The Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit, 2nd Edition
is designed to teach basic knowledge, skills, and values
about working with children who are in the child
welfare system and who have experienced traumatic
 The toolkit teaches strategies for using traumainformed child welfare practice to enhance the safety,
permanency, and well-being of children and families
who are involved in the child welfare system.
 The toolkit can be accessed at the NCTSN Learning
Center for Child and Adolescent Trauma
Essentials of TIC
• Connect – Focus on Relationships
• Protect – Promote Safety and Trustworthiness
• Respect – Engage in Choice and Collaboration
• Redirect (Teach and Reinforce) – Encourage
Skill-Building and Competence
Hummer, V., Crosland, K., Dollard, N., 2009
Steps towards * BECOMING * Trauma Informed
Administrative Commitment to Change
Universal Screening
Staff Training and Education
Hiring Practices
Review of Policies and Procedures
Marsenich, L. 2010, CA Institute of Mental Health (also: next five slides)
Tools for Agency Self Assessment
• “Creating Trauma-Informed Care Environments
Organizational Self-Assessment” from University
of South Florida
• “The Trauma-Informed Organizational SelfAssessment” from the National Center on Family
Homelessness (NCFH)
• “Creating Cultures of Trauma-Informed Care
(CCTIC): A Self-Assessment and Planning
Protocol” By Roger Fallot PhD and Maxine Harris
PhD 2011
Environmental Assessment tool 5pg.
Behavioral Health Services, Kearney, NE
Core Principals revisited
(Fallot & Bebout; APA Convention 2013)
Consumers: ask these 5
• Safety- physical/emotional
• Trustworthiness-maximize,
make tasks clear; appropriate
• Choice-enhance consumer
choice and control
• Collaboration-max and share
• Empowerment- prioritize
and skill building every
Staff: ask these 5 questions
• Safety-ensure for staff
• Trustworthiness- maximize as
administrators and supervisors;
make tasks and procedures
clear; be consistent
• Choice- enhance staff
choice/control in their day to
day work
• Collaboration- max and share
power with staff members
• Empowerment-prioritize staff
skill building; provide resources
The Basic Lesson
Fallot & Bebout 2013 APA Convention
• Staff members—all staff members– can only
create a setting of, and offer relationships
characterized by, safety, trustworthiness,
choice, collaboration, and empowerment only
when they experience these same factors in
the program as a whole. It is unrealistic to
expect it to be otherwise.
Orchard Place
• October 2010 Trauma Informed Care Project
• TIC Stakeholder’s group formed
• Annual Psychological Trauma & Juvenile
Justice conference—2011, 2012 and 2013
• Training of ALL STAFF from 2011 to now; have
incorporated into new staff orientation.
• Provide trainings to community agencies on
impact of trauma and trauma informed care
Contact Information
• Gladys Noll Alvarez, LISW
Trauma Informed Care Project Coordinator
Orchard Place/Child Guidance Center
808 5th Ave
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
– 515-244-2267
– [email protected]

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