Sunday, April 03, 2011

Ten Essential Elements of a Successful Transformation to Trauma Informed Care

1. Administrative buy in: The top administration, including the Board, must understand the change and see compelling reasons to make it. They will need to support the change through their actions, financially, by presenting it to the outside world, and by demonstrating patience and hope through the inevitable roller coaster implementation process.

2. An Implementation Committee: A group of people dedicated to keeping the process moving, deciding next steps, and checking to make sure there is follow through.

3. Trainers and Champions: A group of dedicated trainers and champions who are enthusiastic and eager to see change.

4. A training role out plan. This should include who will do the training, what will the schedule be, who will attend and how many trainings will be done.

5. A new behavioral management approach: a plan for moving away from a consequence based approach to behavioral issues which includes what the agency will do instead.

6. Communication: Mechanisms to communicate to the whole agency what the change is that is being made, how is going to happen, why are you doing it, and how will you measure success. Communicate with the families and involve them in the process. Also communicate to the outside world (funders, licensing, donors, the public)the changes you are making and your hopes for improvement.

7. Celebrations of success: Share and applaud ways to share particular interventions that have made a difference, good outcomes, positive feedback, and particular staff who have done a great job.

8. Attention to vicarious traumatization: Time and space for staff to talk with each other about the ways the work is affected them.

9. Measurement: Set some goals that you hope to reach by implementing trauma informed care, such as: reduced restraint and seclusions; less staff turnover; less negative discharges; and more positive outcomes. Measure these and report the findings to the agency.

10. Fun: Make the training g fun. Invent rituals, sayings and games around implementation on the units. Give little gifts and certificates to staff who interact flexibly and warmly. Play more with the kids! Add more fun interactive activities to your daily milieu life, and make sure the staff and kids play together. Make joy your primary daily goal!

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