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Trauma Informed Approaches for Alleviating Poverty

Community Action Partnership

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Community Action Partnership Learning Community Group

Understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma in antipoverty efforts. Become a Follower to receive resources shared as well as topical group updates.

The Importance of Trauma Informed Care
Individuals of all ages are exposed to adverse experiences that, if left unaddressed, can lead to toxic stress and affect lifelong health, development and learning.

Trauma-informed care is an organizational and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma.  Trauma-informed care also emphasizes physical, psychological and emotional safety for both consumers and providers, and helps staff and consumers rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.

Becoming a Trauma-Informed Community Action Agency means recognizing both that:

  • Consumers may have many different types of trauma in their lives; and,
  • The stress associated with working in human services may impact the staff well-being as well as outcomes of services.
Trauma Informed Care Resources

Check out these high-level resources that have been shared with the Trauma Informed Care LCG:

Trauma Informed Approaches: A Guide to the Resources – Practice Brief and Webinar Recording
There is a growing understanding in both the Child Welfare and TANF fields about the short- and long-term effects of maltreatment and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on child and adult functioning.  Recent findings relating to brain research and toxic stress suggest that prolonged and unmitigated exposure to trauma in childhood can alter brain function well into adulthood--affecting school, work, and health outcomes.  Presenters from ICF International will provide research around trauma-informed case management and offer participants promising strategies around trauma-informed care utilizing the research available.
Trauma-Informed-Care-Practice-BriefPutting Research Into Practice: Trauma Informed Care (Practice Brief)
ICF International has synthesized research and resources below from the field on trauma-informed care, organized  into  5  categories:  Background/Need,  Trauma-Informed  Care  Practice  and Organizational Guides, Secondary Trauma, Serving Children and Youth, and Serving Special Populations.

View the webinar recordingPresentation slides

Understanding Trauma and Its Impact on Families in Poverty – Webinar Recording and White Paper

Families living in poverty often encounter multiple traumas over many years.  Factors associated with poverty, among others, low neighborhood safety, daily hassles, domestic violence, substance abuse and racial discrimination have been shown to increase the risk that trauma will negatively impact family functioning.  The webinar will define acute, chronic and complex (toxic), historical secondary trauma; describe impact of trauma, in the context of poverty, on the family and organizational systems; and encourage participants to build their knowledge and skills to recognize the effects of trauma on children, families and staff to design family centered, trauma-specific interventions that strengthen the family and the organization’s ability to adapt, cope and heal.

Webinar recordingPresentation slides
Understanding-Impact-of-TraumaUnderstanding the Impact of Trauma and Urban Poverty on Family Systems: Risks, Resilience and Interventions, Family Informed Trauma Treatment Center
This white paper reviews the clinical and research literature on the impact of trauma in the context of urban poverty on the family system including the individual child or adult, adult intimate partnership, parent-child, siblings and inter-generational relationships, as well as the family as a whole.  The purpose is to widen the trauma-informed care lens by focusing on familial responses to trauma and by building the foundational knowledge needed to design family centered, trauma-specific interventions that strengthen the family’s ability to adapt, cope and heal.

Adverse Childhood Experiences: National and State Level Prevalence, ChildTrends
ACEs-ChildTrendsAdverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being.  These experiences range from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse to parental divorce or the incarceration of a parent or guardian.  A growing body of research has sought to quantify the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences and illuminate their connection with negative behavioral and health outcomes, such as obesity, alcoholism, and depression, later in life.  However, prior research has not reported on the prevalence of ACEs among children in a nationally representative, non-clinical sample.  In this brief, we describe the prevalence of one or more ACEs among children ages birth through 17, as reported by their parents, using nationally representative data from the 2011/12 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH).

Trauma-Informed Practice Guide, BC Provincial Mental Health and Substance Abuse Planning Council
TIP-GuideThe Trauma-Informed Practice (TIP) Guide and TIP Organizational Checklist are intended to support the translation of trauma-informed principles into practice.  Included are concrete strategies to guide the professional work of practitioners assisting clients with mental health and substance use (MHSU) concerns in British Columbia.  The TIP Guide is based on: findings from current literature; lessons learned from implementation in other jurisdictions; and, ideas offered by practitioners who participated in focus groups and interviews in 2011 in each of the BC Health Regions.  In these 2011 consultations, practitioners described the work they were already doing to address the needs of clients with trauma concerns and provided insights on what else might be useful at practice and system levels.  In 2012, the BC TIP Project Team again gathered feedback from practitioners and leaders in Health Regions in BC on this TIP Guide and the TIP Organizational Checklist.  An important goal of the TIP Guide and Checklist is to build on what is already working for individuals, practitioners and programs. It is not about replacing existing good practices; rather, it is about refining existing practices and informing mental health treatment professionals about trauma-informed approaches.

This blog posting was created by the National Association of Community Action Agencies – Community Action Partnership, in the performance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Grant Number, 90ET0452. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.


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