May 26, 2016

From Diane Yatchmenoff, Ph.D, Director, Trauma Informed Oregon

Moving Trauma Informed Care into Practice

Since the last Trauma Informed Oregon (TIO) newsletter, we’ve held two more meetings focusing on Beyond Training—how organizations are moving forward to implement trauma informed practices once they have a basic understanding of what it is and why it’s important.

For partners in the tri-county area, we convened a forum in Portland in April (about 100 attended). We offered a brief summary of what we’ve learned about the implementation process, details of the new trauma policy from the Oregon Health Authority, plus an overview of the TIO Standards of Practice for Trauma Informed Care. Following the TIO presentation, we broke into four sessions focusing on different aspects of implementation:

  • Generating and sustaining buy-in for TIC;
  • Gathering information, setting priorities, and creating a plan for implementation;
  • Concrete implementation ideas and strategies; and
  • Culturally responsive adaptations.

In each session, a panel of community partners shared their experiences, followed by questions and discussion. These were excellent, though the time for discussion was shorter than we would have liked. Early in May, we conducted a four-hour workshop at the GOBHI (Greater Oregon Behavioral Health Inc.) Conference in Bend. Again, the focus was on implementation, and despite a larger than expected crowd which made it difficult to create a workshop environment, we tried to make this event practical and hands-on. In addition to general information (similar to what we provided in Portland), we focused on specific strategies to create readiness and buy-in and the planning process (particularly the role of the TIC workgroup as well as different approaches to identifying priorities for change).

Activities included:

  • Creating the “elevator speech” to explain trauma informed care in a brief but compelling way to your colleagues, senior management, and community partners: What is it? Why is it important? What will be different as a result of implementing TIC?
  • Using what you “know” in the assessment process: What’s already going well in your organization (for staff, for the individuals seeking or receiving services)? What needs to be improved (where are the triggers or hot spots for staff and those receiving services)?
  • Trying out selected Standards of Practice: How would you respond? How well is your organization doing in these areas?

We received positive reviews on these events, but we’re still trying to figure out how to bring everyone’s expertise, interest, and commitment together in the most useful way. Any additional feedback would be appreciated – email info@traumainformedoregon with any ideas or suggestions.

TIO Website Changes Coming

Our emphasis this year on Beyond Training has resulted in new TIO materials and resources that we want to make readily available via the website. We’re in the process of restructuring the site to make sure that you can find what you’re looking for easily and quickly. Look for changes to the Home Page. We eliminated the “sliders” (they were not being used) and we separated Resources for Implementing Trauma Informed Care from Resources for Training and Education. On the Resources for Implementing Trauma Informed Care page, check out the new Roadmap for Implementing Trauma Informed Care, along with a set of Considerations for each aspect of the implementation process. We’ll be adding more soon.

Web-Based TIO Forum

We are always looking for ways to bring partners from around the state together to share directly with one another. Given that it’s difficult, time consuming and expensive to travel, this year, we are going to experiment with a web-based interactive forum. We hope it will be a site where you can pose questions or respond to questions from others. We’ll let everyone know when this is up and running (we hope by sometime in June). Watch for this to be highlighted in our July newsletter.