What do we mean by trauma-informed services and why is such an approach important?
- The National Center on Trauma-Informed Care developed a technical assistance document on Engaging Women in Trauma-Informed Peer Support (PDF) Visit disclaimer page for providers who serve women. The guide is a resource to learn how to integrate trauma-informed principles into programs and services for women, and is particularly relevant to programs providing domestic violence services.
- Trauma-Informed Care for Children Exposed to Violence: Tips for Domestic Violence and Homeless Shelters (PDF) Visit disclaimer page . Children are very resilient—but they are not unbreakable. No matter what their age, children are deeply hurt when they are physically, sexually, or emotionally abused or when they see or hear violence in their homes and communities. Each child and situation is different, but exposure to these traumatic stressors—including violence—can overwhelm children at any age and lead to problems in their daily lives. This resource was developed by Safe Start Center, a National Resource Center for Children’s Exposure to Violence which is funded by Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention.
- The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health (NCDTMH) has produced a tip sheet on A Trauma-Informed Approach to Domestic Violence Advocacy (PDF) Visit disclaimer page that outlines how domestic violence services programs can better serve clients, helping survivors heal and avoid future abuse, by factoring in what we know about the effects of trauma.
- Trauma-informed domestic violence programs may combine a focus on survivors’ physical safety with emotional safety. The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, Mental Health has produced guidance on trauma-informed approaches and creating conditions for emotional safety (PDF) Visit disclaimer page .
My agency has decided it wants to be more trauma-informed. Where do I start?
- The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health Visit disclaimer page (NCDVTMH), part of the Domestic Violence Resource Network funded by the Family and Youth Services Bureau's Family Violence Prevention and Services Program, has a toolkit of resources entitled Making Sure Your Domestic Violence Program is Trauma-Informed. Visit disclaimer page
- The NCDVTMH has created a self-reflection tool (PDF) Visit disclaimer page for culturally competent and trauma-informed domestic violence prevention and services programs. This tool can help program managers and staff begin to identify strengths and areas of improvement for the program to respond to the traumatic exposures that domestic violence survivors may have endured.
We’ve begun working on these issues, but are trying to decide what to tackle next. How can I figure out my next steps?
- The NCDVTMH offers free webinars on trauma-informed approaches to services to domestic violence survivors Visit disclaimer page . These webinars can be a useful way to strengthen knowledge about and familiarity with trauma-informed domestic violence services for staff in the program.
- Applying trauma-informed approaches to core domestic violence services, such as seeking employment and financial self-sufficiency, and supports for mothers, can help programs better serve survivors. The NCDVTMH has produced guidance for practice on bringing trauma to safety planning and to employment services (PDF) Visit disclaimer page .
- For programs supporting mothers exiting abusive relationships, there are opportunities for trauma-informed supports for children who have been exposed to domestic violence. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers guidance on Interventions for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: Core Principles Visit disclaimer page .
- DOJ’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has produced a webinar, Girls at Risk: A Trauma-Informed Approach Visit disclaimer page that helps to illustrate how exposure to domestic and intimate partner violence in adolescence may have lifelong negative consequences.
How can I/my staff recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in the clients we work with?
- For programs without mental health clinicians on staff, this tip sheet on how to handle a conversation with DV program clients about mental health referrals (PDF) Visit disclaimer page can help staff connect clients needing behavioral health treatment for trauma with help.
- For programs with mental health clinicians on staff, this list of evidence-based screening instruments for trauma Visit disclaimer page developed by SAMHSA and HRSA may be helpful in developing procedures to identify clinical trauma issues in clients.
How do I develop the capacity of my staff to deliver trauma-informed services?
- The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health offers free webinars on trauma-informed approaches to services to domestic violence survivors Visit disclaimer page . These webinars can be a useful way to strengthen knowledge about and familiarity with trauma-informed domestic violence services for staff in the program.
My staff often burn out from dealing with clients’ trauma constantly. How can I support them?
- The Department of Justice’s National Sexual Violence Resource Center has produced a short guide on self-care (PDF) Visit disclaimer page for staff working with victims of sexual violence.
What does my agency’s physical space have to do with being trauma-informed?
- The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health has created a tip sheet on creating trauma-informed services for domestic violence survivors. Tips for Creating a Welcoming Environment (PDF) Visit disclaimer page can help your program create a physical space that promotes recovery and resists re-traumatization.
- Title X clinics provide intimate partner violence screening as part of preventive services as well as services to assist with preventing or achieving pregnancy. A clinic locator Visit disclaimer page is available to determine whether your community has a Title X clinic nearby.