Assessing your Organization from a Trauma Informed Lens
We've been facilitating a professional learning community (PLC) since Fall 2018 with executive leaders from four, youth-serving organizations in Philadelphia. We know in order for change to occur, there needs to be buy-in and support from leadership, which is why we created this PLC specifically for executive leaders. There are many excellent organizations in Philly providing training for direct service, front line staff and educators.
Early on, we gave this tool to the participants. The Agency Self-Assessment for Trauma-Informed Care* is intended to be a tool that will help organizations assess their readiness to implement a trauma-informed approach.
No one tool is perfect, so we suggest that you focus on the sections that are of most relevance to your organization. "To identify potential areas for change, look for statements where staff responses are mostly “strongly disagree” and“disagree”; these are the practices that could be strengthened. In addition, pay attention to those responding with“do not know” as this could indicate that the practice is lacking, or perhaps there is a need for additional information or clarification. Finally, it is helpful to examine items where the range of responses is extremely varied. This lack of consistency among staff responses may be due to a lack of understanding about an item itself, a difference of perspective based on a person’s role in the agency, or a misunderstanding on the part of some staff members about what is actually done on a daily basis."
There is no one right way to begin to address the topic of trauma; this tool may be a starting place for some organizations, for others, this may be a tool used a long time from now.
How is your organization exploring the topic of trauma? What tools are you using?
*This instrument was adapted from the National Center on Family Homelessness Trauma-Informed Organizational Self-Assessment and “Creating Cultures of Trauma- Informed Care: A Self Assessment and Planning Protocol”article by Roger D. Fallot, Ph.D. & Maxine Harris, Ph.D.