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.