September 26, 2019

From Ana Hristić, MA, LCSW, Training and Education Coordinator, Trauma Informed Oregon

Many organizations begin their trauma informed care (TIC) journey with the training of their staff. Training can prepare the platform for content acquisition, as well as for reinforcement of values of an organization’s culture—in this way, training can be thought of as socialization. The development and implementation of a training plan, over time, can thus serve as an antidote to the “one and done” way of training. This (draft) TIP sheet about developing a training plan suggests the breadth of activity that an organization might engage in to build and support their work with TIC in terms of training to provide successful outcomes.

Click here to view the TIP sheet. I’ve also provided a blank Developing TIC Training Plan for your consideration. Continue reading below for further information about each section in the TIP sheet.

Foundational TIC Knowledge

As we’ve written about previously, having a baseline level of knowledge across staff appears to be critical in the initial introduction of TIC content. As per the Logic Model, there are several basic assumptions that the movement is built upon, and it is very helpful for everyone in an organization to have received this baseline level of exposure to content. The Foundational content is intended to both increase knowledge, as well as strengthen belief, so as to contribute to the building of a culture of TIC within the organization. Look under “Example of How” for suggestions by which to deliver this content. What have you done in your organization?

Maintenance/Building of TIC knowledge

In many cases, the currents of our daily lives at work seem to be moving in opposition to TIC—many of us are working in worlds, departments, and offices that are infused with other “cultures,” such as scarcity, burnout, gossip, productivity, survival, etc. Maintenance and building of knowledge and beliefs related to TIC require some type of regularity in terms of frequency and exposure. Look under “Example of How” for suggestions by which to deliver this content. What have you done in your organization?

Application of TIC Knowledge

How many trainings have you participated in that simply talked to your intellect and didn’t translate into actual change in perception or behavior? Our belief is that for a training plan to actually work—for it to actually influence both knowledge and belief, and therefore inspire behavioral and organizational change—we should consider opportunities for all staff to apply TIC to their activity and circle of influence. The Foundational TIC Knowledge section of the training plan could be thought of as building the story of “the why” and the Application of TIC Knowledge section could be understood as developing the skill of “the how.” Look under “Example of Howfor suggestions by which individuals and groups could strengthen their Application of TIC. What have you done in your organization to provide opportunity for job related specific application of TIC?

Supportive TIC Knowledge

Once you begin utilizing the trauma lens and TIC in your daily life and activity, you realize that it’s supported by and in unison with many other “initiatives” and cultures of care (e.g., equity, wraparound, person-centered, culture of recovery, etc.). In order to scaffold the TIC training to ultimately integrate in a sustainable way into all areas of your organization’s activity, we believe that the area of “supportive TIC knowledge” training should be considered. For example, an organization might realize that to be truly trauma informed and thus provide safety, power, and value to a particular identity of staff, they must provide affinity space and support. What supportive trainings has your organization taken part in?  

Finally, as you are reviewing and considering creating a TIC training plan for your organization, we invite you to center (1) being feedback informed (e.g., pay attention to outcomes, voices of the workforce, and best practices) and (2) being inclusive (e.g., watch for racial, cultural, and linguistic discrimination, and ableism).

We want to hear from you!

What questions do you have that we can add to the FAQ portion of this document? What have you tried that has been a learning for your organization? Is this way of considering an organization’s training plan missing an important factor of lived experience or placing burden on any one group of people? Please respond in the comments section below.