By Whitney Marris, Trauma Therapist and Director of Trauma-Informed Practice & System Transformation
NOTE: The enclosed is sample legislation from CTIPP’s 2022 Trauma-Informed Policy Development Highlights. It is meant to be educational and aspirational for trauma-informed advocacy.
Sample Legislation: California Assembly Bill 1929
CTIPP Policy Dimension: Develop a public health approach to trauma (12% of trauma-informed bills ITTIC analyzed were aligned with this dimension)
Summary: This Democrat-led measure, which became law in August of 2022, expands Medi-Cal coverage to include violence prevention services and programming for survivors of community violence and other individuals at high risk of exposure to community violence.
The violence prevention programs supported for coverage through this legislation are defined as “evidence-based, trauma-informed, and culturally-responsive preventive services provided to reduce the incidence of violent injury or reinjury, trauma, and related harms.”
The hoped-for outcome of implementing such change is to promote trauma recovery, stabilization after exposure to violence, and improved health outcomes, with the acknowledgment that such programming is connected to disrupting cycles of violence, retaliation, and ongoing trauma.
The measure takes a preventive, public health approach that centers on systemic solutions rather than a reactive one that focuses on individual experiences or pathologizes trauma exposure and the adaptations people and communities make in response to it.
In this vein, the legislature acknowledges that people who have been exposed to violence are substantially at risk to either be victimized by or perpetrate further violence, further citing that “violence is a public health issue that can be treated by proactively addressing risk factors, including prior injury, substance use, or weapon carrying, and by bolstering protective factors, including peer mentorship, access to physical and mental health services, and upstream social determinants of health.”
The Medi-Cal coverage provided in the legislation would expand the utilization of supports, and services demonstrated to be effective in intervening, addressing harm and promoting healing, and reducing the cycles of trauma disproportionately impacting various communities across the state.
Explore CTIPP’s 2022 Trauma-Informed Policy Development Highlights