Trauma Informed Care - TIC

Trauma Informed Care is a way to engage with people.

 It is a lens.

 It is not a program.

 It is not an intervention.

 It is a way we are in the world.


The Five Primary Trauma Informed Care Guiding Principles

  • Safety
    • This includes creating spaces where people feel culturally, emotionally and physically safe as well as an awareness of an individual's discomfort or unease.
  • Trustworthiness and Transparency
    • This includes providing full and accurate information about what's happening and what's likely to happen next.
  • Choice
    • This includes the recognition of the need for an approach that honors the individual's dignity.
  • Collaboration and Mutuality
    • This includes the recognition that healing happens in relationships and partnerships with shared decision-making.
  • Empowerment
    • This includes the recognition of an individual's strengths.  These strengths are built on and validated.


The 4 R's of Trauma Informed Care

  • Realizing the prevalence of trauma
    • Many individuals experience trauma during their lifetime.  Nationally, 61 percent men and 51 percent of women will experience at least one trauma in their lifetime.  Although many people exposed to trauma demonstrate few or no lingering symptoms, individuals who experience repeated, chronic, or multiple traumas are more likely to exhibit pronounced symptoms and experience negative consequences, including substance use disorders, mental illness, and physical health and problems.
  • Recognizing how trauma affects all individuals
    • Trauma can significantly affect how an individual functions.  Research shows trauma disrupts the central nervous system and overwhelms a person's ability to cope.  It often results in feeling vulnerable, helpless, and afraid.  It interferes with relationships and fundamental beliefs and oneself, others, and one's place in the world
  • Responding by putting this knowledge into practice
    • Trauma - informed care is a change of perspective.  It's not what's wrong with a person. It's what has happened to him to her.  In other words, it is a shift in focus from, "What is wrong with you?" to, "What has happened to you?"  This approach lessens the blame on people who have had adverse experiences in their lives and instead acknowledges it may not be their fault they are acting badly.  It shows the person that there is an understanding that their past experiences may be affecting their present behavior.  This promotes healing.
  • Resisting re-traumatization
    • Trauma-informed care takes steps to minimize situations that could cause distress or mirror the person's traumatic experiences.


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

  • Potentially traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on health and wellbeing.  These experiences range from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse to parental divorce or the incarceration of a parent or guardian.
  • An ACE score is a tally of different types of abuse, neglect, and other hallmarks of a traumatic childhood.
  • The more traumatic your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be and the higher your risk for health problems later in life.

Link to additional information about ACES

ACES too High

HHS TIC Champions' Vision Statement

Our Trauma Informed Care Champions are partners at Columbia County Health & Human Services in fostering an agency that recognizes the impact of trauma on clients and staff and strives to have respectful, compassionate, and trusting relationships with others.  We achieve this through a spirit of curiosity by putting people first, in making a deliberate effort to know and understand people, and by providing hope for a different future for the people we serve, the Department and the community.

Additional Information on Trauma Informed Care

"Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?"  Henry David Thoreau