From Isha-Charlie McNeely, Outreach and Community Engagement Coordinator, Trauma Informed Oregon

Creating safety is important for organizations and agencies because many trauma survivors can be activated and become withdrawn in settings that are not intentional about their spaces. As we know, folks who have experienced trauma can become re-traumatized when entering a space for many different reasons. The environment created is most times the introduction and initial greeting that service users experiences and can also determine their level of engagement and participation in receiving services.

One of the trauma informed care (TIC) principles, safety, can also be defined by someone’s feeling of belongingness when physically entering a space. Folks want to see and feel that they are welcome and that the service is meant for them even before meeting with a staff person. While interning with us last year, Allyn Cripe created a tip sheet on Considerations for a Trauma Informed Environmental Scan.

This is meant to be a combined tool; to be used alongside an environmental scan appropriate for the agency being assessed. This is in draft format because we welcome and invite feedback, questions, or additional considerations. Please leave any feedback in the comments section below or email me at mcneely@pdx.edu.