Chosen Blog

2 September 2021

Moving from “Trauma Informed” to “Trauma Responsive” Care

Chosen - Adoption | Foster & Orphan Care Outreach | Mentoring
Over 50% of Americans report experiencing one adverse childhood experience, or ACE. According to the CDC, ACEs can:

  • compromise quality of life
  • create health problems
  • & even shorten life expectancy.

To address ACEs and the trauma resulting from them, practitioners must be trauma informed. But being informed is not enough—in order to meet the needs of these individuals who have experienced adversity, a more significant level of trauma responsiveness must be achieved.¹ There is an important distinction between being informed and being responsive. Simply put:

  • Being informed means the trauma is taken into consideration when a treatment plan is developed for a family.
  • Being responsive indicates that the entire treatment process has been rethought and is delivered according to the individual needs of the person who has experienced trauma.
The distinction between informed care and responsive care boils down to implementation; before operating a piece of machinery, did you read the manual? Are you briefed on all risks and safety measures? Then you are informed. But when you operate that machinery, are you adhering to all procedures and safety measures you have learned? Only with careful implementation are you truly being responsive.

How Does Chosen Implement Trauma Responsive Care?

Chosen’s care staff is comprised of trauma informed care managers who deliver services in a trauma responsive format to the families we serve; our informed principles are the basis for responsive practices. Chosen has been at the forefront of trauma responsive care since the formalization of our programs in 2016. Our life-on-life approach, which calls us to walk alongside families on their journey toward healing, is indicative of the individualized, customized approach that we take to working with every family. To be trauma responsive, our care team looks at every component of program delivery. This includes:

  • method of delivery
  • language choice
  • & the way our values are communicated
Specifically at Chosen, care managers tailor every Weekly Action Plan and Trauma-Informed Action Plan® (TAP®) the unique needs of families. These plans are based on a combination of pre-service clinical assessments, along with conversations that occur during parent coaching sessions.

Additionally, our use of dosing, which gives families control over the duration and frequency of their services, allows us to respond appropriately to their needs. Perhaps most importantly, our development of deep, authentic relationships with our families facilitates our trauma responsive services.

For our Chosen families, accountability is a form of trauma responsiveness. Our care managers hold parents accountable to their TAP®. We give families actionable tasks, then ensure that they follow through by asking directly during care sessions. Often, clients tell us that they complete their tasks because they know that their care manager will ask about it each week. Acting on being informed is what moves families from trauma-informed to trauma-responsive.

If you know a family who has been touched by the child welfare system, and is in need of care that is tailored to their unique needs, share Chosen with them today.

¹ Bloom, S. L. (2016). Advancing a national cradle-to-grave-to-cradle public health agenda, Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 17(4), 383–396. .1164025