Q: What does it mean to be Trauma-Informed?

To be Trauma-Informed means you are aware of the wide-ranging and potentially significant impacts on an individual due to unaddressed trauma. You may encounter the terms Trauma-Informed Care and Trauma-Informed Approach, which means that an individual, entity or organization is actively seeking to engage patients, clients and fellow citizens in a way that recognizes and ultimately helps to heal and empower.

“Trauma-informed care is a strengths-based framework that is grounded in an understanding of and responsiveness to the impact of trauma, that emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both providers and survivors, and that creates opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.” (Hopper, Bassuk, & Olivet, 2010)

Q: What is a Childhood Adverse Event?

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events occurring before age 18. ACEs include all types of abuse and neglect as well as parental mental illness, substance use, divorce, incarceration, and domestic violence. A landmark study in the 1990s found a significant relationship between the number of ACEs a person experienced and a variety of negative outcomes in adulthood, including poor physical and mental health, substance abuse, and risky behaviors. The more ACEs experienced, the greater the risk for these outcomes. By definition, children in the child welfare system have suffered at least one ACE. Recent studies have shown that, in comparison to the general population, these children are far more likely to have experienced at least four ACEs (42 percent vs. 12.5 percent). (SOURCE: ChildWelfare.gov).

Q: How and why is this approach effective?

Basically, it gets to the root cause of an issue. In the words of Paul DiLorenzo, Senior Director of Casey Family Programs in Philadelphia, “What good does it do to send a caseworker out to fix a problem in one system when the problem spans multiple systems and multiple generations?”

A trauma-informed approach treats the individual as a multi-layered, holistic entity. By uncovering the trigger for certain behaviors or health conditions, we can better relate to, and ultimately empower, the person. This results in healing not only for that person, but for their family networks, future generations, neighborhoods and communities, and society as a whole.

Q: Why did CCR form, and who is involved?

Since coming together in 2017, Creating Community Resiliency has steadily grown in partnership and

influence in Douglas County. The initial CCR 2018 Strategic Plan launched CCR to develop a strong backbone agency, a governance structure, and dedicated core leadership team.

Over the past three years, CCR has established itself as the catalyst organization for a cross-sector movement. We connect and convene agencies representing multiple sectors. Based on our trainings offered, Douglas County agencies and organizations now have trained staff using a TI Building Resiliency lens. With key health and education organizations now part of the network, CCR is in a position to further engage and support Key Leaders and Systems of Care Partners in developing community TI and Building Resiliency principles, policies, and practices.

Q: What is the CCR plan for the next three years?

Our strategic plan sets a course forward to increase our capacity to guide TI and resiliency practice development throughout Douglas County and the region, inspire community-wide engagement, and improve social determinates of health – especially for our most disconnected and underserved populations.

CCR’s Strategic Plan focuses on four key strategic areas:      

  • Community Cross-Sector Awareness and Outreach        
  • Engage & Connect Systems and Supports        
  • Advocacy, Skill Building, Policy/Practice       
  • Sustainability

We categorize these strategic areas, associated goals, and actions using a Framework for Organizational

Community Change.

Q: How can I get involved with CCR, and what is the commitment?

We first invite you to come to one of our Lunch, Learn & Connect events. There, you can network with others, ask any questions you might have, and get on the path to becoming a Trauma-Informed Champion. We also invite you to educate yourself by checking out our Resources page, as well as websites such as Trauma Informed Oregon, to learn about how to integrate the approach in your personal sphere and wider community.

Q: What is your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion?

To build community resiliency, CCR applies an equity lens through its strategic areas’ goals and actions

understanding that many adverse childhood experiences can be linked to policy and systems driven inequities. The impacts of addressing these inequities and in resolving personal and community traumas include development of a resilient personality and social fabric. The ability to sustain developmental

relationships is the basis for healthier and safer people living with more life assets and contributing to resilient neighborhoods and communities.

Q: How is CCR dealing with COVID-19?

In this time of universal change and distress resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic we are uniquely positioned to support individuals, communities and organizations in building responses and recovery that fosters health, safety, and resilience. According to Trauma Informed Oregon during COVID-19 it is critical to “remind people and decision makers that Trauma Informed Care is a critical and helpful

framework to use at this time with COVID-19 response and impact. It can help us prepare for healing, prevent harmful policies, and continue care.”  

COVID-19 has laid bare and magnified existing fault lines in our community and society that

reveal an ever-repeating pattern of disparity – a disparity that results time and time again in those with the least resources bearing the greatest burden of each and every new tragedy we face.

COVID-19 is an ongoing challenge that threatens not only our health but our economic, educational, and social wellbeing. COVID-19 disproportionally impacts those in communities of color, are disabled, elderly Veterans, and those who already face adversity or struggle with multiple social determinants of health (housing, poverty, food insecurity). The intersection of Resilience and TI work and COVID-19 pandemic engages the core of our CCR work and challenges our community to bring forth a ‘new normal’. that is framed and informed by a new clarity and resolution to advance TI work to build a healthy, resilient, just, and equitable future.

COVID-19 has disrupted all aspects of life and increasingly scarce resources must not be limited to responding to the ‘medicalization’ of this pandemic but rather used holistically to PUT INTO PRACTICE POLICY ACTIONS THAT BUILD A STRONG SOCIAL SAFETY NET TO ENSURE COMMUNITY RESILIENCE AND RECOVERY FOR ALL.

You can be a champion.

Together we can create resilient communities.