Gather Information & Identify Opportunities

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A Trauma Informed Care (TIC) approach involves all levels of an agency making small adjustments while simultaneously working on big changes. During this effort, agencies can use information (aka data) to identify opportunities for TIC, highlight current trauma informed practices, and measure progress in implementation. Below, are some considerations when gathering information.

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  • Agencies can use a number of methods when gathering information. The following are decisions to consider:
    • External or Internal: Who will lead the process for gathering information? Someone from outside the organization (an external consultant) or internal staff?
      • External consultants can offer useful expertise and guidance. Their neutrality is a benefit when gathering information. However, there will likely be a cost associated with an external consultant.
      • Internal staff can efficiently and effectively gather information, especially because they understand the inner workings of the agency. Lack of neutrality is a consideration as well as staff capacity. Adding this task to full workloads can be challenging.
    • Informal or formal process: Agencies may choose to use an existing assessment instrument (see examples of environmental scans, and the Standards of Practice, below) or conduct a more informal process.
      • Formal Process:
        • Some instruments are tailored specifically to certain domains such as child welfare or mental health services. Using this type of instrument will help ensure considerations are specific to the field.
        • Other tools, such as the Standards of Practice, provide categories in which to consider trauma informed practice, more generally.   While this tool isn’t specific to a field, it is flexible and can be adapted for different settings.
      • Informal Process: An agency can engage in an informal process to identify opportunities for TIC (see hotspots document, below) and current TIC practices. This information can be gathered:
        • During trainings
        • At regular staff meetings
        • Through the use of comment boxes or internal surveys
  • Agencies may use different methods for gathering information. Regardless of the approach, the process should:
    • Highlight successful TIC efforts and opportunities for improvement.
    • Be part of ongoing feedback and monitoring.
    • Incorporate the perspective of staff and stakeholders including persons with lived experience of your service system.
  • Agencies may consider the following focus areas when collecting information:
    • A program within the agency (for example an afterschool, parent education, counseling, or emergency assistance program)
    • A location or site (courtroom, mobile unit, or housing site)
    • A point in time for service recipients or staff (for example, agencies may focus specifically on intake or new hire onboarding)


What Is Trauma Informed Care?

Standards of Practice

Hotspots Activity

Assessment Tools: Creating Cultures of Trauma-Informed Care (CCTIC)

Assessment Tools: Trauma Informed System Change Instrument (TISC)

Assessment Tools: TISC Scoring

Assessment Tools: Trauma Informed Organizational Toolkit Homeless Services


Next Step: Prioritize & Create Work Plan