Trauma-Informed Approaches: Connecting Research, Policy, and Practice to Build Resilience in Children and Families

08/28/2020

Trauma-informed approaches provide a framework for preventing and addressing childhood trauma and building resilience in children and families. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “A program, organization, or system that is trauma-informed realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery; recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system; and responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices, and seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has integrated trauma-informed approaches into a growing number of federal initiatives and programs; similar changes are happening at the state and community levels. These efforts often occur in silos, however, preventing stakeholders from learning from—and building off of—each other’s work.

This webpage includes links to materials ASPE has developed with James Bell Associates and Education Development Center as part of an effort to advance our understanding of trauma-informed approaches. This project examines trauma-informed efforts across sectors to assess what they look like in community settings, their impacts, and areas where further information is needed.

Overview of Research Summary and Select Program Profiles – This document provides an overview of the first two resources developed as part of ASPE’s Trauma-Informed Approaches project: a research summary and profiles of select trauma-informed programs. The overview includes key insights that emerged as part of these projects.

Research Summary: Review of Trauma-Informed Initiatives at the Systems Level – This research summary explores trauma-informed initiatives at the systems level and summarizes common program activities, targeted outcomes, and evidence of progress towards those systems-level outcomes.

Profiles of Select Trauma-Informed Programs – This resource highlights select trauma-informed programs from diverse sectors, geographic locations, and funding sources to give examples of the wide range of existing trauma-informed initiatives within communities.

Using Logic Models Grounded in Theory of Change to Support Trauma-Informed Initiatives – This Special Topics Paper outlines the rationale for using and supporting logic models grounded in theories of change to help build the evidence base for trauma-informed approaches.

Advancing Change to Support Trauma-Informed Initiatives and Build Evidence of Impacts – This issue brief summarizes information from a research summary, program scan, and expert convening to offer insights into critical questions for stakeholders.