Trauma-Informed Systems, Jargon and Buzzwords

Trauma-Informed Systems

We live in a world of trends. Often the excitement behind those trends can fuel funding decisions. With each trend comes a wave of new words that can be hard to decipher, even when everyone seems to be saying them. A few examples at the moment are “common core,” “social and emotional learning,” “evidence-based practices,” “machine learning” and “return on investment.” With all these words buzzing around our heads, it can be hard to integrate their fundamental meaning and importance into our daily lives.

When we talk about trauma-informed systems, we are talking about public systems of care that incorporate specific values into their interactions and infrastructure.  We are talking about healing broken systems while we also work to heal communities from the impact of trauma.  To this end, we are focusing on Bay Area counties to transform their child, family serving systems of care. We draw from Sandra Bloom’s Sanctuary Model and focus on the following six values:

  • Understanding Trauma and Stress
  • Compassion and Dependability
  • Safety and Stability
  • Collaboration and Empowerment
  • Cultural Humility and Responsiveness
  • Resilience and Recovery

Each value could easily take up its own blog post, as none of them are simple concepts. But the general commitment is to move our systems of care forward from being trauma-inducing to being trauma-healing. No matter what words are communicated, this is what we are all about: healing those most impacted by trauma, whether it is our communities or those that serve them. So next time you hear the words “Trauma-Informed System” in the Bay Area, just think of connecting communities with more trustworthy, compassionate systems; and reclaiming Bay Area futures.