Trauma-Informed Care

Most family members experiencing homelessness have been exposed to trauma. More than 90% of homeless mothers have experienced severe trauma, especially interpersonal violence. Homeless children exposed to multiple traumatic stresses can have adverse health and mental health outcomes in adulthood.

To respond to the high prevalence of trauma in homeless families, caregivers can provide trauma-informed care—a strengths based organizational approach in which all services are provided through the lens of trauma. Trauma-informed care creates an organizational culture informed by an understanding of trauma that supports, empowers, and respects service users and staff.

In a culture that integrates the principles of trauma-informed care, healing is possible. All staff in an agency or program are trained to understand how trauma operates, how to reduce “triggers” of a post-trauma response, and to encourage consumer choice, support empowerment, level power differentials, and establish trusting relationships.

Across the nation, health and mental health care organizations, schools, criminal justice institutions, and community providers are adopting trauma-informed care to benefit their clients and staff. The Bassuk Center collaborates with t3: think. teach. transform to provide organizational assessment, training, and ongoing consultation on trauma-informed care.

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The TICOMETER

Created by the Center for Social Innovation and The Bassuk Center with national experts, the TICOMETER © evaluates an organization’s needs and progress in implementing trauma-informed care and ensuring its sustainability. It is the first trauma-informed care organizational assessment instrument with strong psychometric properties.

Consisting of 35 items across five domains, the TICOMETER © measures the degree to which an organization is engaged in trauma-informed practices. The assessment takes approximately 15 minutes for staff members to complete online and scores are available to the organization immediately. The five domains include:

  • Building trauma-informed knowledge and skills.
  • Establishing trusting relationships.
  • Respecting service users.
  • Fostering trauma-informed service delivery.
  • Promoting trauma-informed policies and procedures.

To learn more, read the journal article or visit the TICOMETER ©.