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Expand the Trauma-Informed, Healing-Centered Workforce

At the core of CTIPP’s overarching vision for trauma-informed transformation lies the acknowledgment that personal, organizational, communal, collective, and systemic narratives often intersect with experiences of trauma and adversity. This necessitates a deliberate approach to noticing, acknowledging, responding to, and addressing trauma across all levels. This process shines a light on the importance of expanding the trauma-informed, healing-centered workforce—a critical step in fostering a society that not only recognizes trauma but actively works towards prevention, healing, and growth.


This involves not only equipping professionals across all sectors and systems with the knowledge and skills to engage sensitively and responsively with people affected by trauma but also ensuring that all members of the workforce have the knowledge and skills to interact in a way that minimizes the risk of re-traumatization.

Building a resilient, trauma-informed, and healing-centered workforce is a multifaceted activity. Accessible and equitable post-secondary education programs are tasked with going beyond theoretical knowledge, incorporating practical training, reflective practice, and accountability measures. Education and skills-based training regarding trauma and a trauma-informed approach is embedded in professional licensure and certification requirements. 

Ongoing support and professional development opportunities are essential to equip the workforce so that they stand empowered to engage in alignment with the trauma-informed principles with others as well as address the potential for secondary traumatic stress, vicarious trauma, and other work-related challenges within themselves.


Investing in a trauma-informed workforce is an investment in the future. By providing meaningful structural supports, we can create a sustainable workforce equipped to navigate the challenges of trauma-informed practice while protecting their own wellness. The ripple effects of taking action to support the workforce extends beyond individuals, fostering lasting positive changes within our communities, systems, and institutions.


​ This dimension of the vision calls for us to:

  • Devise and implement standards that cultivate a trauma-informed learning environments in higher education institutions to support a broader number of people with lived experience of trauma and adversity

  • Destigmatize, incentivize, and provide accessible, equitable pathways for trade school and the pursuit of trades-related careers

  • Provide pathways and paid opportunities for people with lived experience of trauma and adversity to work in peer support roles

  • Mandate that post-secondary programs relevant to trauma-affected populations integrate trauma-informed education and training in order to obtain accreditation

    • Establish standards for relevant degrees and programs to require foundational knowledge on trauma in the curriculum

  • Implement ongoing professional development requirements across relevant fields that include trauma-informed training to ensure that existing professionals stay current with evolving best practices and research

  • Allocate dedicated funding streams to support the development and implementation of trauma-informed training programs for professionals across sectors

    • Establish national standards and resources for trauma-informed training programs to ensure quality and consistency across all disciplines

    • Develop statewide or national data collection systems to track the progress of trauma-informed workforce initiatives and identify what is working well as well as areas for improvement/further research

    • Assure funding is for all staff versus just direct service providers

    • Engage workforce leaders in targeted education efforts to emphasize the importance of trauma-informed approaches and provide technical assistance to support leaders implementing trauma-informed change

    • Provide mechanisms to support volunteer education and responsiveness to trauma in organizations, agencies, and other entities that rely on volunteers to operate

    • Ensure equitable access to online training and resources for individuals with limited access to traditional training methods

  • Establish a national or state-level task force focused on workforce well-being, bringing together experts, practitioners, policymakers, and people with diverse lived experiences to identify trauma-informed, healing centered, resilience-building best practices to support a healthy, thriving, compassionate workforce

    • Develop state- or national-level standards and guidelines for trauma-informed practices within organizations and systems of care, outlining expectations for creating a supportive work environment and incorporating trauma-informed principles into workplace culture 

    • Establish standards in relevant disciplines to reduce the possibility of harm/re-traumatization in roles with high trauma exposure (e.g., requirements to limit caseloads, mandating breaks and dedicated private spaces to take them, requiring a resource list for staff including accessible and affordable well-being supports, etc.)

  • Recognize and provide funding for specific training and resources to protect the workforce against occupational hazards such as secondary traumatic stress, vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, moral injury, and burnout 

    • Also provide funding to support workplaces implementing resources and supports for staff demonstrated to bolster positive impacts of the work, such as vicarious post-traumatic growth, vicarious resilience, compassion satisfaction, and moral courage

    • Provide choice and access to support the workforce in obtaining trauma-informed, culturally-responsive mental health support, counseling, and self-care activities that fit for them

    • Require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to establish secondary traumatic stress/vicarious trauma as an occupational hazard and establish regulatory mechanisms accordingly

  • Develop and promote reflective trauma-informed supervision models that provide guidance, support, and reflection for professionals, acknowledging the potential impact of their work on their well-being

  • Integrate a lens of equity, justice, and cultural humility into all aspects of workforce development initiatives to dismantle systemic racism and ensure equitable access to resources and opportunities for all professionals

  • Integrate trauma-informed competency standards into professional codes of ethics and standards of practice across relevant fields, enshrining a commitment to trauma-informed principles and building in accountability for members of such professions to keep current with emerging and evolving knowledge and practices

  • Require trauma-informed content and skills assessments as part of licensure and certification processes for all relevant professions 

  • Create financial incentives for organizations and systems of care that are adopting or demonstrating ongoing commitment to sustaining trauma-informed practices

  • Engage technology and other strategies to facilitate collaboration and knowledge-sharing between different sectors to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to workforce development

  • Increase diverse representation among the workforce—and particularly in organizational/systems leadership—to buoy trust, safety, and empowerment among populations, groups, and communities with lived experience of trauma and adversity as marginalized, oppressed, disenfranchised, or otherwise excluded or underrepresented

    • Incentivize the adoption of trauma-informed hiring practices that prioritize a strengths-based approach to bringing candidates with lived experience of trauma and adversity into sustainable careers with pathways for advancement 

  • Create workforce development programs to support people with diverse lived experience serving in meaningful roles in the workforce and progressing in their careers

  • Establish peer support programs within organizations and systems to provide professionals with a network of colleagues who understand the challenges of interfacing with trauma on the job and can offer mutual aid

  • Support the establishment of resource banks/lists to promote awareness about local entities, agencies, organizations, and practitioners that provide trauma treatment among the workforce such that, when someone recognizes signs and symptoms of trauma on the job, they can provide and/or pursue appropriate trauma-informed recommendations and referrals

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