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Planning for Trauma Informed Care

Thanks to new federal funding, Head Start programs have the opportunity to strengthen their approach to trauma. The ability of staff to recognize the impact of trauma in themselves and others, to understand the effects and to effectively respond offers a chance to make a real difference in the lives of children and families.

But how will programs know if they are effective? And how do we ensure that trauma initiatives sustain over time?

Planning What to Measure

Staff and Agency Assessments – The ProQOL is used to measure of the negative and positive affects of helping others who experience suffering and trauma. The ARTIC (Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care) Scale is used to measure the effectiveness of staff training, through attitudes toward trauma-informed care. The Agency Self-Assessment for Trauma-Informed Care measures an organization’s readiness to implement a trauma-informed approach.

  • Staff and Agency Assessments – The ProQOL is used to measure of the negative and positive affects of helping others who experience suffering and trauma. The ARTIC (Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care) Scale is used to measure the effectiveness of staff training, through attitudes toward trauma-informed care. The Agency Self-Assessment for Trauma-Informed Care measures an organization’s readiness to implement a trauma-informed approach.
  • Child Incidents – Many teachers anecdotally report that training in trauma-informed care has enabled them to more effectively respond to children who are acting out. To move from anecdote to measurement, however, requires tracking child behavioral incidents. Are they declining after introducing particular trauma-informed resources? What interventions appear to be the most effective?
  • Community Partners – Programs attuned to issues of trauma are more likely to identify and successfully refer families to mental health care and other supports. Does your program have particular metrics that you plan to use in tracking referrals and receiving feedback from community partners?

Data Analytics, Learning Network

At Early Intel, our Quality Improvement Network members work on exactly these sorts of issues. Using shared metrics and common dashboards, participants benchmark their own data against other programs, identifying bright spots and areas for improvement. Our learning communities apply improvement tools to their work across the full range of program issues, sharing with each other what they’re discovering.

However your program approaches trauma over the next year, we encourage you to think strategically about how you will measure impact. We hope to be a thought partner and encourage you to check out our training and analytic resources.