While the term trauma-informed care policy and practices are important, Voices acknowledges that it is incomplete. Trauma-informed care correctly highlights the specific needs of individuals who have exposure to trauma. A healing centered approach to addressing trauma requires a different question that moves beyond “what happened to you” to “what’s right with you” in order to view those exposed to trauma as agents in the creation of their own well-being rather than victims of traumatic events.
Trauma-informed care operates at the individual-level rather than a collective one. However, in the wake of the pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and today’s modern civil rights movement, we must recognize that populations who disproportionately suffer from trauma need a different approach, one that acknowledges their collective experience and further promotes equitable and just policies of change. Addressing the root cause of trauma in neighborhoods, families, and schools requires policies that consider the environmental context that perpetuates the harm. Trauma-informed care in combination with equitable policies deconstructs toxic systems, policies and practices that reinforce the initial harm.
Equality gives everyone the same exact resources. Equity acknowledges the disparities affiliated with oppression and inequality, and therefore, distributes resources based off of the needs of the recipients. Systemic equity is a complex combination of interrelated elements consciously designed to create, support and sustain social justice. It reinforces and replicates equitable ideas, power, resources, strategies, conditions, habits and outcomes. Justice is the systematic fair treatment of people of all races that results in equitable opportunities and outcomes for everyone so that all people can achieve their full potential in life, regardless of race, ethnicity or the community in which they live.