Notes taken at the NASW GA conference in October 2017 during the lecture of Antwan Aiken.

  1. Trauma informed care is in reference to the service organizations structure.
  2. Personal control and empowerment are key components.
  3. Trauma informed care is distinguished from trauma specific treatment.
  4. Trauma informed is not clinical rather it is how we interact with our clients.
    1. Trauma is central and impacts everything.
    2. Problems and symptoms are interrelated.
    3. Shares power and decision making.
    4. The client is an active partner.
    5. Focus is on recovery.
    6. Decisions are proactive.
    7. Autonomy is reinforced.
  5. Don’t create more barriers in treatment than are absolutely necessary (limited policies and procedures that result in barriers to care).
  6. Safety planning is recommended for all trauma survivors.
  7. It’s hard to hold people accountable if they are not informed of the rules and expectations that affect them and their care.
  8. Authentic relationships are vital (clients know when you don’t care),
  9. Help clients reconnect with their past support systems.
  10. Have staff who are trauma champions.
  11. UCLA has a PTSD assessment called the PTSA.
  12. Trauma informed care is “big on relationships”.
  13. It is characterized by mutual respect and shared power and control.
  14. Mental health needs to be addressed with trauma survivors.
  15. Safety, permanency, well-being is the focus of trauma informed care and child welfare.
  16. Research has shown that female trauma survivors are safety in prison than “on the streets”.
  17. In some cultures care providers are seen as unsafe.
  18. Some cultures do not accept therapy (the West Indian culture for example).
  19. Sometimes depression is easier to acknowledge than trauma.
  20. A financial investment in the program is needed for an organization to become trauma informed.
  21. It promotes a safe and supportive work environment.
  22. Re-traumatized staff is one barrier to trauma informed care.


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