What is Trauma-informed Policy?
Decisions about our laws and public funding impact every part of our daily lives. State and local leaders are making decisions every day about how our children will be cared for in our schools and early childhood programs, health care settings, mental health providers, and foster care system. Sometimes the decisions involve how much of a service will be funded. Other times these decisions involve who delivers a service or how it is delivered. All of this impacts which children and families are served.
When lawmakers in Virginia consider these decisions our hope is that they will adopt the principles of trauma-informed approaches. SAMSHA has defined a trauma-informed approach as meeting the 4 Rs:
(1) Realizing the prevalence of trauma;
(2) Recognizing how trauma affects all individuals involved with the program, organization, or system, including its own workforce;
(3) Responding by putting this knowledge into practice; and
(4) Resisting retraumatization.
To create a Trauma-informed Virginia we must take steps to educate our child-serving professionals to practice trauma-informed approaches and align our systems to be trauma-informed. Stay up to date on our blog for examples of trauma-informed policy in practice, opportunities to adopt trauma-informed approaches, and examples from other states.
Read more about how policymakers in Virginia make laws in our Legislative Advocacy Guide. Look for more resources from Voices on how to advocate with state lawmakers through upcoming training and webinars.