Trauma-informed practice: toolkit

This trauma-informed practice toolkit has been developed as part of the National Trauma Training Programme, to support all sectors of the workforce, in planning and developing trauma informed services.

Executive Summary

This Toolkit has been developed by the Rivers Centre (NHS Lothian's specialist service for people affected by psychological trauma) to support organisations, departments and teams across all sectors of the workforce, in planning and developing Trauma Informed Services. It should be used in conjunction with the training and implementation resources provided for both frontline staff, leaders and managers through the National Trauma Training Programme, led by NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

Together, these resources support the ambition of the Scottish Government, COSLA and many other stakeholders across Scotland for a trauma-informed and trauma-responsive workforce and services. They will help ensure that our services are delivered in ways that reduce barriers and prevent further harm or retraumatisation for those who have experienced psychological trauma or adversity at any stage in their lives.

In recent years the field of psychological trauma has generated multiple toolkits aimed at helping organisations become more trauma-informed. Relatively few, however, have been based on trauma survivors' and staff views of what trauma-informed practice looks like in a real-world setting. Moreover, none of the toolkits has been based on real-world settings in Scotland.

Firmly embedded in the existing published literature, the toolkit operationalises the NES TIP principles (Safety, Trust, Choice, Collaboration and Empowerment), (adapted from Fallot and Harris, Trauma-Informed Services: a Self-Assessment and Planning Protocol, 2006) by exploring real life, concrete examples of TIP being delivered in Scotland.

The voices of trauma survivors, staff and leaders in the field are used throughout the document to define the steps organisations can take and the barriers that might get in their way. Case studies are drawn from settings across Scotland, namely general practice, mental health, residential care, police, criminal justice social work, addiction services and education.

Findings have been translated into a set of questions (Appendix 1) to guide organisations in their self-assessments. A set of resources is offered to provide practical help with implementation (Appendix 2). Together, these comprise a toolkit for Scotland, aiding organisations on their journey towards becoming trauma-informed.



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