What is Trauma-Informed Care?

Trauma-informed Care is a strengths-based Framework that is grounded in an understanding of and responsiveness to the impact of trauma, that emphasises physical, psychological and emotional safety for both providers and survivors, and that creates opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment…

…Implementing TIC requires a philosophical and cultural shift within an agency, with an organisational commitment to understanding traumatic stress and to developing strategies for responding to the complex needs of survivors.

(Hopper, Bassuk, & Olivet, 2010)

Trauma-informed care recognises that trauma exposure is a relatively common experience, and one that can have a significant impact on the lives of many people who access alcohol and drug and other treatment services.  For some people, the consequences of their trauma experiences impact on their capacity to engage easily in relationships, and make finding and following through with supports and treatments particularly difficult. Trauma informed care aims to actively manage worker and service delivery factors that might interact with a service user’s trauma experiences, thereby improving the likelihood that supports and services will be more effective. Rather than ‘an intervention’, trauma informed care can be thought of as a set of principles and practices that inform our efforts in providing support, treatment and care.


This Module was prepared by the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health.