Trauma impacts many areas of functioning – physical, mental, social, spiritual. It’s repercussions are widespread – on individuals, families, entire communities. Fundamental to successful trauma informed care is a comprehensive network to address single traumatic events and repeated prolonged exposures from a whole systems perspective. The system for care must create a physical environment that is healing and nurturing, and an attitude that encourages dignity, respect and hopefulness. In addition to defining trauma, understanding its effects, addressing behaviors and providing person centered care; it is important to understand the impact of trauma on child development and learn how to minimize its effects without causing additional trauma.
According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) concept of a trauma informed approach is grounded in four assumptions (The Four R’s).
A program, organization, or system that is trauma-informed realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery; recognizes the sign and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system; and responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices, and seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.