June 24, 2015

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

All over Oregon…

I’m writing this entry from the Seaside Convention Center. It’s noon on Friday, June 12, and representatives from Youth MOVE Oregon are providing an overview of their organization and the tremendous work they do with young people to promote resilience and youth voice. It’s a terrific presentation to an audience of about 100 providers and stakeholders, who are here today for a training on trauma informed care and a chance to participate in the TIO Collaborative. We’ll be coming back to the North Coast on October 5, 2015 for a community-wide conversation with the help of Laura Porter from Ace Interface.
Next week, we travel to Pendleton where there will be a training for healthcare professionals provided by Dr. Teri Pettersen from the Oregon Pediatric Society, as well as a community forum to share information and ideas about implementing trauma informed care in northeast Oregon.
Watch the website and newsletter for information about additional meetings and trainings coming up in the fall, when we will be expanding our scope to include mental health and addictions providers who work with adults.

On the national scene…

Sandy Bumpus from Oregon Family Support Network and I attended a two-day training in Washington, DC last month, sponsored by the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health (TA Center) at Georgetown University. It was an invitational event for representatives from states that are seen as leaders in this work, and we were very pleased that Oregon was chosen to participate. We came away excited about new partnerships and more confident that the directions we have set for Trauma Informed Oregon are consistent with the national agenda and in some areas, are paving new ground.

Growing momentum among healthcare providers…

Last week, Trauma Informed Oregon also attended the Oregon Health System Innovation Café conference in Salem. We participated in the very well-attended Affinity Group meeting for participants who wanted to talk about implementing trauma informed principles and practices in healthcare. Representatives from Coordinated Care Organizations, physicians, behavioral health providers, and others talked about strengths and challenges in their areas, and about what is needed to move forward. Later in the day, TIO hosted three roundtable discussions (think speed dating). Our table was mobbed all three rounds. Lots of interest, lots of energy, many good questions. It is exciting to see this momentum building in the healthcare system and gratifying to be part of it.

And in early childhood…

By the end of September, we will have delivered training to home visiting programs and their early childhood partners in seven counties, with more to come in the next year. As we expand our prevention focus aimed at building resilience in children and families, we will increasingly be working more with public health programs as well as the Early Learning Division and its Hubs around the state. Beth Gebstadt from the Maternal and Child Health Department at the Oregon Health Authority joined the TIO leadership team in April, and we’re delighted to have her help in planning and in connecting with new partners.

Resources and information…

We’re still working on the design and technological aspects of creating a Trainer database that you will be able to access via the website as well as a mechanism for sharing of information about implementation trauma informed practices. Some of this process has proven more difficult and time consuming than we anticipated. Thank you for your patience. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, the Tools Workgroup has drafted the following Fact and Tip Sheets for review:

  • What is Trauma Informed Care
  • What are Trauma Specific Services                                                                                                             -including considerations when implementing and seeking a Trauma Specific Service
  • To Screen or Not to Screen (for Adverse Childhood Experiences)
  • Workforce Wellness

We need your feedback about these. We will be sending out each Tip sheet with a link to a survey asking you to tell us if it was helpful or not, and how they can be improved. We will post to the website after your comments are incorporated. After we pilot this process, and if you find the Tip Sheets useful, we hope you will help identify and/or write about other topics of interest.

Standards of Practice for Trauma Informed Care….

Across numerous service sectors, core training about trauma and trauma informed care has led to significant and serious efforts to modify practices and policies to be more effective and supportive for survivors and for the workforce. In some cases, Trauma Informed Oregon (TIO) has provided consultation or guidance in this process, but in many others, programs or agencies or whole systems around Oregon have taken it on themselves. We are tremendously excited to see these implementation strategies developing.

The role of TIO is to support these efforts in every way possible and to highlight progress and achievements. One way we can do this by providing a set of benchmarks or standards that our partners can use to assess their progress and to demonstrate their commitment and accomplishments to their constituents.

We have been working for some time on a set of Standards of Practice for Trauma Informed Care in collaboration with partners and a newly formed workgroup from the larger TIO Collaborative. These standards reflect work that is being done all over the country for the same purpose and are consistent with the guidelines published this year by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). We hope they will serve as a way that organizations or programs can voluntarily monitor and share their progress. We also see the Standards as ideas or suggestions that might be helpful but will likely need to be adapted and modified to meet the needs of a particular setting, population or context.

We will be asking for feedback from the Collaborative soon, so watch for the Trauma Informed Care Standards to appear on the website and for more information about how you can respond.