An estimated one in four children have experienced a significant traumatic event in their lifetime, with research demonstrating that exposure to trauma increases risk for mental health, substance abuse, and physical health issues. Health care systems are beginning to identify a need to better serve this population of youth and their families; however, the effectiveness of potential system changes remains unclear.
This two-part project will provide implementation support and evaluation of effective community practices for children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events. In the first segment of the project, a statewide strategic plan to implement trauma-informed care will be developed in partnership with Texas Department of State Health Services. Sixteen pilot sites across Texas will commit to twelve months of participation in a Trauma Informed Care Learning Community, and the project will provide training, webinars and technical assistance consultations to support their transformation into trauma informed care. The evaluation component of the project will explore impacts on policy at the state level, organizational policies and procedures at the agency level, and impacts on services and children’s outcomes. The evaluation will support and inform quality improvement efforts within the initiative, and provide guidance for further expansion of trauma-informed practices in the state and nationally.