November 24, 2016

From Lisa C. Greif, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge

Impact of Trauma

In 2013, the Jackson County Casey Team, as part of the effort to safely and equitably reduce the number of children in foster care, determined that it would be beneficial to educate our community on the impact of trauma in the child welfare system. We subsequently entered into a partnership with the Trauma Informed Care Project at Portland State University (PSU).


On February 28, 2014, we held a training on trauma informed care that was facilitated by Mandy Davis from PSU. Attendees included attorneys, Department of Human Services (DHS) child welfare staff, DHS self-sufficiency staff, judges, court staff, mental/behavioral health providers, relief nursery staff members, CASA staff and volunteers, CRB staff and volunteers, and substance abuse treatment providers. The participants at the training were asked to identify ways they and/or their organization could be more trauma informed.


The responses from the training were collected and analyzed and the Casey Team decided to move forward with integrating trauma informed care practice at the initial shelter hearings in juvenile dependency cases. PSU staff travelled to Jackson County in February 2015 to observe the programs and services that are part of the child welfare system and conducted both individual and group interviews of representatives from the different organizations and agencies.

PSU staff and the Casey Team were able to collectively develop a trauma informed shelter hearing implementation plan in July 2015. We continue to follow the plan to this day and have seen marked improvements in our ability to be more aware of trauma in the courtroom and with the child welfare clients that our agencies and organizations serve.