Organization Practice Change
Family Resources, Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois
Type of practice
After learning about The ACE Study in 2008, Family Resources adopted trauma-informed care (TIC) as its platform practice for the organization. The organization underwent an intensive six-month trauma-informed care assessment using a tool developed by Maxine Harris and Roger Fallot called, “Creating Cultures of Trauma Informed Care.” Following the assessment, a core team was developed to drive trauma-informed care practices deeper into the organization. The organization’s board of directors also approved a policy that adopted trauma-informed care as its model of practice. The Core Team consisted of five teams:
The long term goal of the organization is to move the knowledge of The ACE Study and trauma-informed care practices into the communities where Family Resources provides services to children and families.
Family Resources found the science and data behind The ACE Study profound and compelling. As an organization, it felt compelled to act on behalf of its clients and staff by changing agency practices.
Family Resources as a single organization receives funding from, and is accountable to, multiple funders with varying philosophies and deliverables in sectors including education, mental health, corrections (JCS), children’s safety (DHS), and victim services. Integrating trauma-informed care practices across multiple disciplines and funder philosophies takes time, a commitment to developing common ground, and a strong training curriculum.
Developing TIC practices across all sectors also requires inclusion of survivor inputs, reflections and experiences in receiving services. Including survivor input across all service levels has been difficult to sustain at the organizational level.
Primary challenges also include infrastructure support to develop the initiative within the organization.
On-going development and long-term coordination, implementation, and funding strategies to support the work.
Family Resources administration and board believe so strongly in a trauma-informed care approach that senior leadership time has been devoted to the roll out and implementation of this work across the organization. Staff have also dedicated hundreds of hours to training and improving practice to make the transformation possible. The organization is also grateful to Midwest Trauma Services Network for the extensive training and ongoing support provided to its staff and programs.
About Family Resources
Family Resources is a not-for-profit social service agency with roots in the Quad Cities dating back to 1849. Its mission is to strengthen children, families and individuals by providing quality services that engage community resources to create effective solutions. Family Resources' 20-plus programs span the areas of child welfare and juvenile justice, mental health, victim services and education. With its recently expanded service area, it now provides services in 10 counties in Eastern Iowa and three counties in Western Illinois.
To learn more about this project, contact Christine Gradert, Senior Vice President, Family Resources.
Examples of TIC in Family Resources