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You Can DO It!

Posted on July 29, 2016

Many of you have probably come to be part of this blog community because you’ve attended one of our Trauma Informed Excellence (TIE) Trainings, where you heard us speak about the paradigm shift towards Trauma Informed Care. (If not, feel free to visit our website to learn more about TIE.) What do most people do after they participate in a training? They go back to work and do things the same way they’ve always done them. We often hear from people who are inspired by the paradigm shift and want to know, “What do we do now that we know how important this is?” We know that implementing system-wide change can be daunting, which is why we’ve created a nice new model to share with you today. Let’s take a look at the steps that are required for this type of change.

We developed the following five-stage implementation model to illustrate where an organization is in the process of becoming trauma-informed. The model draws on theory from the Stages of Change Model developed by James O. Prochaska and Carlo Di Climente, as well as the Process for Creating a Trauma Sensitive School model from Helping Traumatized Children Learn, Volume 2. The model is intended to provide a clear description of steps required for implementing trauma-informed systems change.

implementation model

Note, each stage has several indicators that take time (and often resources) to achieve, meaning an organization may remain in a stage for a significant amount of time, but actually be making progress. So, it’s important to recognize and celebrate progress within each stage, in addition to progress from stage to stage. We all like to celebrate right?! Consider how many celebrations you can have through this process!

Now let’s take a look at each stage:

The Pre-Awareness Stage describes agencies that are unaware of the impact of trauma on clients, have received little to no TIE training, and have yet to garner buy-in for action. Your organization is already past this stage if you’ve already taken any TIE Training – good for you, you already get to celebrate!

The next stage in the process is the Awareness Stage, where efforts begin to create awareness for the paradigm shift. Here, we see individuals and/or small teams participating in TIE training in order to fully understand the importance of the paradigm shift. Leadership becomes engaged in this stage and Champions are identified to lead the process of sharing information and garnering support more widely for TIE transformation. Having these important supports in place creates motivation for change and enhances ease of implementation.

Next is the Readiness Stage, where Champions deepen their knowledge to become on-site experts. All staff are engaged in training, regardless of their professional role, in order to create organization-wide buy-in for TIE. Prior to implementing practices, it is important to understand staff’s priorities for action and their readiness to implement new practices. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, and/or key informant interviews. Taking the time to explore staff’s priorities and readiness continues to bolster buy-in, and can guide implementation in a direction that will meet the needs of the key individuals who create change in the organization. It is at this point that staff’s input gets translated into concrete steps for a TIE Action Plan.

Progression onto the Action Stage is evident when an organization-wide Action Plan is finalized and implementation of action items occurs. At this stage, it’s imperative to establish a plan to evaluate the implementation process and the outcome of the strategies put in place by the Action Plan.

Once the Action Plan has been fully implemented, the next step is the Maintenance Stage, where the actual evaluation is conducted to assess the implementation process and outcomes of the Action Plan. The process doesn’t end here though. Continued efforts must be established in order to sustain an ongoing organization-wide TIE learning community. This is required in order to stay up to date on best practices and support ongoing activities in your organization. One ongoing task is to provide training to all new staff so that they can join your organization’s efforts. Ongoing evaluation should be conducted to assess broader TIE culture change over time.

This is just a brief introduction to our new implementation model. We know any paradigm shift is a really big undertaking. We hope this model breaks it down into more manageable steps. Now we want to hear what you think! For those of you who have been trained on Trauma Informed Care, we want to hear from you about what stage you think your organization is in and why. For those of you who have not yet had Trauma Informed Care training, please tell us what steps sound like they would be the easiest or hardest to get done in your organization. Everyone feel free to give us feedback of any kind on our model, as you are some of the first to see it!

4 responses to “You Can DO It!”

  1. Randy Hylton says:

    great insight on the progression of this paradigm shift. I would categorize us as being in the awareness stage. Several leaders have been through the training, and our Executive Team received an abbreviated version. We’re slowly rolling it out clinic by clinic. To me the most difficult part is attempting to maintain patience. Once this information and its potential impact is seen, you want everyone to know it NOW!

  2. Randy Hylton says:

    great insight on the progression of this paradigm shift. I would categorize us as being in the awareness stage. Several leaders have been through the training, and our Executive Team received an abbreviated version. We’re slowly rolling it out clinic by clinic. To me the most difficult part is attempting to maintain patience. Once this information and its potential impact is seen, you want everyone to know it NOW!

  3. Philip J. Malebranche says:

    My own place in the process is as yet vague. I’m still learning, so, I feel that I’d be in the awareness stage. However, I’m hesitant about using the language of the process. Sensitive to expression, I prefer to evade jargon. Nevertheless, many years ago, I learned of the importance of words, and try to be careful of what I say and write. It is a power that each human has, neglects or abuses–or cultivates. Fine language is waning among us, and mobile devices are facilitating that process. The image–and moving image–is replacing words as forms of communication. This, I would say, hampers healing, as well as self-defense and collaboration, reasoning and persuasion. The meaning of “rhetoric” has changed probably for a reason. My interest in this may increase because I intend to write, elsewhere, about what I believe to be an example in history of this degradation of language. Montaigne, accepted as the “father of essay writing,” diverged from the habitual custom of writing treatises. Essays were ill-considered by some because they were self-centered and self-interested. A critic of Montaigne was Nicolas de Malebranche (1638-1715), whose name I bear. Writing about Montaigne, he was acerbic, not appreciating the attitude with which the former wrote, and disliking the possible degrading of the form of expression. Essays were shorter than treatises: the essay may have been the precursor to the mobile device. The one hundred-forty character limit is ruinous to the sentence and spelling and vocabulary and to the aesthetics of expression. I may follow Malebranche in his philippic against an aggression against writing. Truncating expression handicaps the spirit. Some who encourage this phenomenon may wish to contradict this Biblical idea: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Effacing words is to try to rid the world of the Creator.

  4. Philip J. Malebranche says:

    My own place in the process is as yet vague. I’m still learning, so, I feel that I’d be in the awareness stage. However, I’m hesitant about using the language of the process. Sensitive to expression, I prefer to evade jargon. Nevertheless, many years ago, I learned of the importance of words, and try to be careful of what I say and write. It is a power that each human has, neglects or abuses–or cultivates. Fine language is waning among us, and mobile devices are facilitating that process. The image–and moving image–is replacing words as forms of communication. This, I would say, hampers healing, as well as self-defense and collaboration, reasoning and persuasion. The meaning of “rhetoric” has changed probably for a reason. My interest in this may increase because I intend to write, elsewhere, about what I believe to be an example in history of this degradation of language. Montaigne, accepted as the “father of essay writing,” diverged from the habitual custom of writing treatises. Essays were ill-considered by some because they were self-centered and self-interested. A critic of Montaigne was Nicolas de Malebranche (1638-1715), whose name I bear. Writing about Montaigne, he was acerbic, not appreciating the attitude with which the former wrote, and disliking the possible degrading of the form of expression. Essays were shorter than treatises: the essay may have been the precursor to the mobile device. The one hundred-forty character limit is ruinous to the sentence and spelling and vocabulary and to the aesthetics of expression. I may follow Malebranche in his philippic against an aggression against writing. Truncating expression handicaps the spirit. Some who encourage this phenomenon may wish to contradict this Biblical idea: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Effacing words is to try to rid the world of the Creator.

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