Implementing a trauma-informed and responsive (TIR) approach requires transformation and initiatives at multiple levels of an organization, in alignment with the Guiding Principles. There are five key action steps in which an organization’s strategically focused TIR actions can make a positive difference.
1. Actively Demonstrate Leadership’s Commitment
Change comes from the top: through their own behavior and in the decisions they make about policies, funding, and staff hiring and development, leaders can help their organizations becomes TIR.
2. Create a Trauma-Informed and Responsive Workforce
Instituting mandatory training on trauma, focusing on skill development, and creating a healthy staff environment support both the workforce and the children they serve.
3. Align Policy and Decision-Making with the Guiding Principles
Aligning organizational policies with the Guiding Principles and including children and families in decision-making can help organizations avoid re-traumatizing children and promote healing.
4. Design a Trauma-Informed Physical Environment
A TIR physical environment is designed with the needs and abilities of the individuals using the space in mind and is reevaluated with input from children, families, and staff members.
5. Focus on Continuous Quality Improvement
Ongoing improvement stems from regular assessment of an organization’s TIR-related policies, programs, and practices, while including feedback from youth, families, and staff.