Trauma Informed Care
GOBHI is committed to the mission of becoming trauma informed as an organization and to promoting trauma informed care principles within its affiliated healthcare service organizations and the communities in which our members reside.
We believe that everyone is born with the capacity for progressive development, but that this capacity can be derailed by overwhelming life stressors and traumatic experiences. As a result of these events, individuals may develop coping skills that make sense in the context of their history but later have negative consequences. This is true for clients, their family members, as well as staff members at all levels of the agency.
Many people experience trauma in their lives. Trauma can come in many forms and is often defined as an experience of violence and victimization through emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, severe neglect, loss, domestic violence, degradation and discrimination based on one’s personal and/or cultural attributes, a life-threatening medical illness, and/or the witnessing of violence, terrorism or disasters.
Trauma Informed Care (TIC) recognizes that traumatic experiences terrify, overwhelm, and violate the individual.
Trauma Informed Care is a commitment not to repeat these experiences and, in whatever way possible, to restore a sense of safety, power, and self-worth.
Trauma Informed Care Principles
- Safety – Throughout the organization, staff and the people they serve feel physically and psychologically safe.
- Trustworthiness and transparency – Organizational operations and decisions are conducted with transparency and the goal of building and maintaining trust among staff, clients, and family members of those receiving services.
- Peer support and mutual self-help – These are integral to the organizational and service delivery approach and are understood as a key vehicle for building trust, establishing safety, and empowerment.
- Collaboration and mutuality – There is true partnering and leveling of power differences between staff and clients and among organizational staff from direct care staff to administrators. There is recognition that healing happens in relationships and in the meaningful sharing of power and decision-making. The organization recognizes that everyone has a role to play in a trauma-informed approach. One does not have to be a therapist to be therapeutic.
- Empowerment, voice, and choice – Throughout the organization and among the clients served, individuals’ strengths are recognized, built on, and validated and new skills developed as necessary. The organization aims to strengthen the staff’s, clients’, and family members’ experience of choice and recognize that every person’s experience is unique and requires an individualized approach. This includes a belief in resilience and in the ability of individuals, organizations, and communities to heal and promote recovery from trauma. This builds on what clients, staff, and communities have to offer, rather than responding to perceived deficits.
- Cultural, historical, and gender issues – The organization actively moves past cultural stereotypes and biases (e.g., based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, geography), offers gender responsive services, leverages the healing value of traditional cultural connections, and recognizes and addresses historical trauma.
What’s happening in GOBHI?
- GOBHI is undergoing an organizational assessment process to determine areas of strength and areas in need of development for becoming trauma informed.
- GOBHI sponsored the spring conference and brought Dr. Bruce Perry to increase the awareness of the impact of trauma on brain development and how to intercede.
- GOBHI co-sponsored a Master Trainer event in Pendleton which entailed Laura Porter and Robert Anda, the co-author of the ACES study, to apply a public health method to spreading information about the impact of ACES on population health.
- GOBHI is starting to develop pilots to focus on the 0-3 population to prevent Adverse Childhood Events from occurring.
How can my organization become trauma informed?
Trauma Informed Oregon has a web page developed to help organizations conduct assessments and then subsequently strategic planning to shape policies, procedures, and practices that reduce the incidents of re-traumatization, promote healing and prevent ACES for future generations.