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Make local, state, and federal governments trauma-informed

As wisdom from the field of trauma and adversity continues to grow, it has become increasingly clear that a multi-pronged, multi-level approach is needed to break cycles of trauma and violence.


Merely addressing trauma and adversity on individual, family, and community levels will not disrupt trauma's enduring legacy and intergenerational transmission. A comprehensive approach to making our world more resilient and trauma-informed requires that our political and social institutions, systems, and structures adopt and implement a common framework that advances the implementation of trauma-informed and trauma-responsive change.


A significant aspect of realizing CTIPP’s vision involves making local, state, and federal governments trauma-informed.


  • Enact legislation requiring all federal, state, and local agencies and government representatives to consider trauma in making policy and administrative decisions

  • Increase awareness of and education on trauma, NEAR (Neuroscience, Epigenetics, ACEs, and Resilience), the relationship between trauma and various health outcomes, and other relevant topics related to implementing trauma-informed approaches among policymakers and government representatives

  • Provide education and supports to address high exposure to traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, burnout, and other such experiences public sector professionals endure and encounter in their roles

  • Advance resolutions and/or other formal acknowledgments among policymakers declaring trauma to be an epidemic, public health crisis, and/or otherwise a critical issue to address through structural, institutional, and systemic trauma-informed change (e.g., establishing a Trauma-Informed Care Awareness Day annually)

  • Establish mechanisms to coordinate the collection, evaluation, and reporting of data related to trauma and adversity to inform policy efforts

  • Support policymakers in devising and advancing legislation related to addressing and preventing trauma through trauma-informed, trauma-responsive, and trauma-specific interventions and practices

  • Continue to fund the Interagency Task Force on Trauma-Informed Care to develop recommendations and standards for trauma-informed recognition, referral, treatment, mitigation, and other supports across the lifespan

  • Engage experts to define “trauma-informed” in alignment with leading-edge frameworks formally (E.G., SAMHSA’s concept of trauma and a trauma-informed approach, Missouri Model’s distinctions between trauma aware, trauma-sensitive, trauma-responsive, and trauma-informed, etc.)

  • Existing laws governing elementary and secondary education should include professional development; trauma-informed programs, support, and services; positive approaches to discipline that address underlying causes of behavior, including trauma; and a planning process to help all students feel safe and connected to the school community and promote a school-wide culture of acceptance, and require states to share plans on how they will increase the prevalence of trauma-informed practices and enshrine said definition in law

  • Provide intensive assistance to advance responsiveness to trauma among agencies that service trauma-impacted individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations (E.G., Bureau of Prisons, Veterans Administration, Employment Training Administration, Bureau of Indian Affairs, etc.)

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