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Nurture Healthy, Connected, Resilient, and Thriving Families

In conceptualizing “family” within the framework of a trauma-informed approach, CTIPP embraces a broad and inclusive definition. Family, in this context, extends beyond the “traditional nuclear model” to encompass any group of individuals who share a deep bond, history, and commitment to each other's future.


This expansive view recognizes the diverse forms that families can take, including blood relatives, extended families, chosen families, as well as community networks of people engaged in caring for one another, all of which play a crucial role in nurturing health, connectedness, resilience, and thriving dynamics that underscore our vision of transformation.


Supporting families in this holistic way requires policies and practices that are flexible, adaptive, and responsive to the unique needs and circumstances of each family and community. A trauma-informed, healing-centered, resilience-building, and community-led approach involves creating systems of care that are attuned to the varied dynamics within families, understanding that each member’s experiences, strengths, and challenges contribute to the overall well-being and functioning of the system. This approach necessitates a shift from a “one-size-fits-all” model to tailored interventions, resources, and sustainable supports that respect and honor the complexity of family structures and relationships.

In practice, this means advocating for policies that provide families with the resources and support they need to thrive. It includes ensuring access to quality healthcare, mental health services, educational opportunities, and economic stability. It entails applying the principles of a trauma-informed approach to promoting the safety, well-being, and permanency of children and families. It means championing initiatives that foster resilience-building, nurturing environments where families can grow and flourish together.


CTIPP supports holding child- and family-strengthening systems of care and our broader institutions to account to demonstrate a commitment toward creating a world where every family, regardless of its form, has the opportunity to experience well-being, connectedness, and resilience. This underscores CTIPP’s deeply-held belief that, when families have what they need to thrive and support one another in living meaningful, self-determined lives, communities and societies flourish for generations to come.


This dimension of the vision calls for us to:

  • Require all members of the child- and family-strengthening workforce to engage in foundational and ongoing training and continuing education on trauma and adversity along the life course, along with trauma-informed, resilience-building, healing-centered responses and practices relevant to their workforce roles

  • Increase avenues for meaningful family participation, voice, and collaboration in creating policies and practices, requiring representation of people with lived experience of trauma and adversity within all task forces, working groups, and other entities convened through legislation to implement change within child- and family-strengthening systems

  • Reform policies related to mandated reporting and resulting family separation through a trauma-informed lens

    • Establish a standardized mandated reporter training on the topics of trauma and trauma-informed approach, as well as on the historical discrimination and inequity embedded in previous discriminatory and more paternalistic approaches to family surveillance

    • Implement review processes for existing policies, procedures, and trainings, encouraging a move from “mandated reporting” toward “mandated supporting” through a trauma-informed lens

    • Implement policies focused on providing support services to families at risk of separation due to factors like financial instability, mental health issues, or substance abuse, aiming to address these issues before separation becomes necessary

    • Require greater collaboration with families and more robust connection to community-based supports to build skills and bolster the capacity of all members to support whole-family well-being before turning to temporary or permanent separation, except in cases of significant immediate danger or urgency

    • Devise strategies to repair the harms of bias and oppression across family-supporting systems

    • Ensure that in cases of separation involving families from diverse cultural or linguistic backgrounds, appropriate cultural and language support is provided

    • Require age-appropriate incorporation of the child’s voice into collaborative decision-making processes regarding removal

  • Establish mentorship and peer support programs for families, including kinship caregivers, young people, parents with marginalized identities, members of the workforce, and other community members interested in contributing to strengthening families that are grounded in trauma-informed principles

  • Provide accessible community-based training for family members in mental health first aid, mindfulness, trauma-informed communication, and other positive coping strategies to enhance their ability to support each other

  • Invest in local programs that focus on building resilience and well-being in families, especially in trauma-impacted communities

  • Support increased access to services that address substance use, trauma, and other mental/behavioral health-related challenges for pregnant and parenting people

  • Expand access to trauma-informed, family-centered home visiting, particularly for new and expectant parents in areas that are under-resourced and/or trauma-impacted

  • Develop policies that preserve human and civil rights as well as address the unique needs and challenges of families consisting of members of diverse and historically marginalized communities of identification

    • Ensure trauma-informed supports meet diverse needs within families with members who are LGBTQIA2S+, who racially identify within the global majority, who are blending different cultural backgrounds, who have mixed immigration status, and other groups that have been oppressed by systems and institutions, or who are otherwise more vulnerable to experiencing trauma and adversity

  • Fund programs that provide parents with skills and resources to foster positive family dynamics

  • Make evidence-informed family counseling services more accessible and affordable

    • Enhance telehealth options to make services more accessible for families, as well as to increase provider diversity and family choice in selecting right-fit counselors

  • Create community-based family wellness centers offering a range of services geared towards family health and well-being

    • Fund recreational programs that encourage family participation and bonding

    • Fund cultural activities that encourage family participation and cultural education

    • Disseminate resources to help families learn about trauma-informed, resilience-building engagement with one another

    • Fund connection-building opportunities such as establishing community gardens as a means of promoting family bonding and access to fresh, nutritious food

  • Increase supports to caregivers of children, older people, and those with different abilities or special needs who require caregiving assistance

    • Fund resources and opportunities for respite care

    • Expand education for caregivers on trauma-informed care as well as the impacts of caregiving, such as compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, burnout, compassion satisfaction, vicarious resiliency, and other potential impacts

    • Increase financial and logistical support for kinship caregivers

  • Provide legal support to families navigating custody, housing, immigration, and other legal challenges

  • Enhance data sharing to promote awareness, collaboration, alignment, and coordination of trauma-informed care across systems and sectors while preserving privacy, confidentiality, and choice about who receives what personal information

  • Increase targeted supports and resources for foster and adoptive families

    • Mandate in-depth, trauma-informed training for all prospective foster and adoptive caregivers, focusing on understanding trauma, attachment issues, and effective parenting strategies for children who have experienced trauma

    • Provide training in cultural competency and inclusivity for foster and adoptive families, especially when the child comes from a different cultural or ethnic background

    • Provide continuous support and resources for foster and adoptive families, including access to counseling, peer support groups, and respite care

    • Implement improved screening processes for foster and adoptive placements to ensure the best match between children and families, considering the child’s needs and cultural background, as well as each family’s strengths and capabilities

    • Fund and develop post-adoption support services to assist families in addressing any challenges that arise after adoption

    • Provide financial assistance to foster and adoptive families to cover the costs associated with raising a trauma-impacted child who may have specialized needs

    • Establish networks for foster and adoptive families to share experiences, offer support, and build community

    • Facilitate the continuity of relationships and connections for children in the foster system, including maintaining ties with siblings, extended family, and previous caregivers where appropriate

  • Devise inclusive housing policies that cater to the needs of different family structures

    • Expand rental assistance programs to include diverse family structures, ensuring that eligibility criteria do not exclude non-traditional families

    • Provide financial assistance and educational programs to help low-income families, irrespective of their structure, achieve homeownership in safe, well-resourced communities

    • Revise zoning laws to allow for more multi-family housing units, which are crucial for extended families living together

    • Strengthen laws to protect diverse family structures from discrimination in renting, buying, or obtaining mortgages

    • Encourage the development of housing projects that include amenities for multi-generational families, such as playgrounds, daytime programming for older people to connect, and community centers housing enrichment activities for family members of all ages and backgrounds

  • Enhance access to integrated trauma-informed holistic healthcare services in community settings, making supports for well-being more accessible to all family members

  • Provide free legal representation to families facing separation, ensuring they have access to fair legal advice and advocacy in their language of choice

  • Establish family reunification programs when family separation has occurred, offering counseling, support, and resources to both parents and children, facilitating a safe and healthy reunion process

  • Increase choice and access to programming and services that help families make decisions about whether and how to add children to their families

  • Engage public awareness campaigns to generate greater understanding and adoption of trauma-informed approaches to nurture family and community well-being

    • Create programs that improve digital literacy and education around connecting to trauma-informed supports, helping families access online resources and services

    • Support the creation of apps and online resource databases focused on family health, wellness, and resource navigation

    • Increase awareness of and education on the importance of self-and collective care, particularly in communities where families are navigating high levels of stress, challenge, change, and/or trauma

    • Create a national helpline dedicated to providing guidance and resources to families in need of trauma-informed support

  • Incentivize workplaces adopting trauma-informed, family-friendly policies, such as flexible working hours and parental leave

  • Increase access to and expand the range of nutrition assistance programs to ensure food security for families 

  • Fund studies that explore the dynamics of trauma within diverse family structures and effective trauma-informed interventions

  • Adopt multigenerational approaches to trauma recovery and resilience-building demonstrated to disrupt the transgenerational transmission of trauma

  • Engage the Interagency Task Force on Trauma-Informed Care to make recommendations in creating a trauma-informed and trauma-responsive child- and family-strengthening systems, as well as to provide technical assistance to support, monitor, and evaluate fidelity and outcomes related to the implementation of its recommendations

  • Advocate for policies ensuring equal pay and work equity to alleviate financial stress on families and eliminate disparities that disproportionately impact people with diverse lived experience of trauma and adversity

    • Offer free, accessible financial counseling to families with histories of trauma or oppression, helping them navigate financial challenges and build generational wealth and stability

  • Fund and expand access to trauma-informed supportive services and non-punitive recovery programs for families impacted by intimate partner violence, family violence, or other household challenges that increase family members’ vulnerability to experiencing trauma

  • Invest in early childhood programs that support the holistic development of children in a family setting

  • Integrate family support services within schools to facilitate easier access to necessities and resources that promote well-being for families

  • Develop family-centered substance use treatment programs that provide supports and engage family members in recovery activities

  • Increase funding to expand access to affordable childcare options that support working families

  • Promote and fund community capacity-building initiatives that support families in having protective and compensatory experiences as well as accessing resources that the research highlights as critical to increasing positive family experiences and well-being

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