I have just returned from presenting at the national conference of the Alliance for Children and Families (http://www.alliance1.org/) in St. Louis, Missouri. Many agencies represented there are some where along the path of incorporating trauma understanding into their residential or group care. Many are just at the beginning, and are struggling with similar questions. People are concerned about lack of staff skills, boundaries, time, resistance, and fears that chaos will break out. Several people made the point that in some ways the trauma-informed approach is a return to our roots. Many agencies started as orphanages, and in the early days love was considered the main tool. There were strict rules, but also an emphasis on caring and flexibility. At my agency, people who grew up there in the orphanage years (now in their 80s) come back to visit- and they remember "Miss Mable" who "thought I was special". The relationship is the power!
Mark D. Freado, Director of Re-education and Consultation, and Lisa A.
Shepard, Senior Director of Clinical Services, Pressley Ridge. Presented on "Creating a Trauma Sensitive Culture through Competency Training". They described how Pressley Ridge (http://www.pressleyridge.org/) is using staff training, competency development and evaluation to change the treatment culture.
In addition to implementing trauma informed care, agencies are focusing on more effective, careful management, branding, outcomes, fund development, and Board development. In a keynote presentation Stephen B. Heintz spoke of the power non-profits and their staff have to influence public policy in his address: "Power to the People: The Critical Role of Civic Engagement". Thomas J. Tierney highlighted "The Leadership Deficit" in the non-profit sector, and emphasized the importance of active succession planning at all levels of all our agencies.
It was heartening to see so many agencies beginning to add a trauma framework to their approach. Let’s all work together to figure out how to do this! Please add your experiences through the comments option in this blog- just click on the word "comment".
Loving Kindness Meditation for Self Care
1 year ago