Organizational Assessment to Implement Trauma-Informed Care for First Responders, Child Welfare Providers, and Healthcare Professionals

Jungyoon Kim, Alisha Aggarwal, Shannon Maloney, Melissa Tibbits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Traumatic events can have a detrimental impact on individuals’ health and well-being. Ensuring traumainformedcare (TIC) in key community sectors is an important step in addressing trauma. We conducted anorganizational assessment to identify the strengths and needs of organizations in implementing TIC in threesectors located in a Midwestern mid-size city: first responder organizations, health care institutions, and achild welfare agency. Using an explanatory sequential mixed-methods design, middle-level managers(n = 118) from the three sectors participated in online surveys and follow-up focus groups (n = 25). Weassessed participants’ self-reported experiences across the following organizational domains: staff training(knowledge and skills), leadership commitment, organizational policies, and staff supervision. Sectorsdiffered in their organizational strengths and needs related to the TIC. The first responder organizationsreported well-established policies and de-briefing programs, with a greater need for trauma-informedtraining and practical support. Healthcare institutions reported high levels of training in patient screeningand referrals, but expressed less effective communication within the organization and unstructuredresources for TIC services. The child welfare sector showed the highest level of understanding aboutTIC through their strong internal training programs, but challenges exist in applying the training to dailypractice and dealing with vicarious trauma for staff. We discuss the implications of these findings andsuggest sector-specific organizational strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-578
Number of pages10
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • Mixed-methods design
  • Multi-sector comparison
  • Organizational assessment
  • Trauma-informed care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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