What is Trauma-Informed Training and Who Would Benefit From it?

People who are trained in trauma-informed care understand that a person’s life experience — especially past trauma — has a direct effect on that person’s outcomes in complicated situations such as the civil or criminal justice systems or healthcare. It includes an understanding of trauma reactions and symptoms, as well as the ability to provide appropriate support to a patient or client who is affected by trauma. People trained in trauma-informed care achieve this through the five “Guiding Principles”: safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness, and empowerment.

Trauma-informed care is especially important for people who work with survivors of child sexual abuse, including attorneys, advocates, paralegals, judges, and anyone who interacts directly with the survivor throughout the process of a civil case.

Through specialized training in the understanding of the effects of trauma on children and adults, a doctor, therapist, attorney, judge, police office, etc., can adapt situations to ensure that a person feels safe, their trauma is acknowledged, and outcomes are improved for survivors.

Where Can I Get Trauma-Informed Training?

Numerous organizations—including some colleges and universities—offer trauma-informed training for any professional or volunteer who engages with people affected by trauma. These trainings can be tailored to an individual’s specific needs and are delivered online or in person.

Many licensing bodies also include trauma-informed care training as a part of their continuing education offerings. To find the best program for you, research your particular needs and desired outcomes for the training. There are many low-cost training solutions available.

How Do I Know if My Attorney, Police Force, or Doctor Are Trauma-Informed? How Can I Suggest Training for Them?

The easiest way to find out is to ask. If you find that professionals in your area do not have trauma-informed training, you can work closely with lawmakers, city officials, hospitals, and first responders to make sure that all of an area’s government, healthcare, and law enforcement professionals are trauma-informed.

Who Needs to Be Trauma-Informed?

Anyone who works with victims of trauma should be trauma-informed. That includes the law enforcement community, judges, attorneys, doctors, therapists, teachers, and anyone else who can potentially work with survivors of abuse.

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