ACEs & Trauma-Informed Systems: Building Practices & Policies to Avoid Re-traumatization — Feb. 18, 2016

Reblogged from #MacroSW: Where Macro Social Workers Come to Connect

The #MacroSW Twitter Chat on February 18, 2016 (9:00pm EST) will be on expanding the reach of #TraumaInformed Care into the policy arena and through transforming our social work practices.

UPDATE: Chat archive now available!

by Pat Shelly


Hands cupping hands


All social workers and other professionals who work with people who have experienced trauma are at risk of being personally impacted by that trauma. Secondary traumatic stress (STS), vicarious trauma (VT) and re-traumatization are common among helping professionals. When we hear the term trauma-informed care we typically think about how to avoid re-traumatizing our clients.


But what about considering a trauma-informed approach to the systems in which we work?

On February 18, 2016, the #MacroSW chat will discuss systems-level change to avoid re-traumatizing not only our clients but ourselves as social workers, as staff and as nonprofit entities.


Through our understanding of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), we know that adult health can be negatively impacted by traumatic experiences in the early years. ACEs also affect our thoughts, behaviors, actions and reactions as individuals, as employees and as leaders. Can we start to address ACEs with system-wide policies and practices that may minimize that impact in later years? A trauma-informed workplace can help not only our clients but our staff in minimizing re-traumatization.

Pat Shelly of the University at Buffalo School of Social Work @UBSSW will host with guest Shelley Hitzel @UBittic.

Shelley Hitzel, Univ. at Buffalo Institute for Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care Intern

Shelley Hitzel, Univ. at Buffalo Institute for Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care Intern

Since 2010, Shelley has worked at the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara in Niagara Falls, NY, as a member of a multidisciplinary team providing direct services to both child and adult survivors of trauma.  Shelley completed UB’s Trauma Counseling Certificate Program in 2012. Currently, she is an Advanced Standing MSW student and an intern at the UB Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care. She has participated in aome of our past chats, representing ITTIC.







Questions for discussion:

  1. What is Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS)?   What is Vicarious Trauma?


  1. What is re-traumatization?


  1. How can systems be considered to be traumatized or traumatizing?


  1. How can we build systems to prevent re-traumatization across all levels?


  1. Policy – What is TIC policy?


For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs.



Institute on Trauma and Trauma Informed Care: About Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care


SAMHSA: Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach


Bringing Team Care Strategies and Resilience to Your Agency Staff
(permission to share this PowerPoint presentation was granted by the authors )


Sandra Bloom: Trauma Organized Systems and Parallel Process



Community Connections: Creating Cultures of Trauma Informed Care




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