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Trauma-Informed Enhancement

CCADV member programs provide services that are “trauma-informed.” The five core principles of a trauma-informed and responsive environment are safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration and empowerment.

A trauma informed agency provides services that are:

  • Informed about, and sensitive to trauma issues,
  • Reconsiders and evaluates all components of the agency in light of a basic understanding of the role trauma plays in the lives of people seeking services,
  • Delivers services in a way that avoids unintentional re-traumatization and facilitates survivor participation, and
  • Places priority on survivors' safety, choice, and control.

In April 2012, CCADV, in collaboration with Roger D. Fallot, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation with Community Connections in Washington, D.C., offered a two-day trauma kick-off event - Creating Cultures of Trauma-Informed Care. Each trauma enhancement site identifies a "trauma champion" and a trauma initiative workgroup with comprehensive representation including administrators, supervisors, advocates, and survivors all with the authority to initiate meaningful change.

Staff is trained on the implementation of the Self-Assessment and Planning Tool, which helps agencies:

  • Evaluate and assess current practices;
  • Identify and prioritize key areas for change: and,
  • Monitor and track progress in order to facilitate a trauma informed service system.

Throughout the process each trauma enhancement site participates in group meetings as well as site visits with CCADV staff. Site visits allows CCADV staff to consult with the workgroups on the change process, support and provide feedback, discuss barriers and identify strategies to overcome them. When possible, site visits also include conversations with survivors about the agency’s progress on providing services based on the five core principles of safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration and empowerment.

CCADV also coordinates additional trauma-informed trainings for participants, including: Train-the-Trainer Understanding Trauma, Mental Health First Aid, the Intersection of Domestic Violence, Homelessness and HIV/Aids, Parenting After Violence, Motivational Interviewing, Harm Reduction, Facilitating Psycho-educational Groups, Understanding Substance Abuse and Trauma and a Mindfulness Response for Supervisors.

Program outcomes to date include:

  • Greater safety and trust between survivors and staff
  • Staff are more cognizant about the impact of the physical and sensory environment on survivors accessing services
  • Trauma-informed language is being used in supervision, case reviews, peer support and general discussions
  • Greater collaboration with survivors with an emphasis on empowerment and healing

Five (5) member programs participated in the first year of training with all members expected to be fully-trained Trauma-Informed Enhancement sites by 2015.


For more information about our trauma-informed enhancement efforts, please contact Geralyn O’Neil-Wild, Director of Legal Advocacy, at (860) 282-7899 or gwild@ctcadv.org.