Certification for Trauma Informed Organizations

Note: We use “client” to indicate a consumer, patient, student, parent, inmate, or any other person who engages in the organization or system.

Background

Certification for Trauma Informed Organizations is a primary goal of the South Texas Trauma Informed Care Consortium (STTIC), a multi-sector group of more than 168 organizations in Bexar County, Texas. The Consortium’s vision is a certified trauma-informed Bexar County. Consortium organizations seek to learn about trauma, make changes to mitigate the impact of trauma, and prevent re-traumatization, so that every community member has the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible. In 2019, The Ecumenical Center was selected as the certifying entity for trauma informed organizations through a competitive process.

Following the Consortium’s strategic planning in 2018-2020, The Ecumenical Center conducted focus group sessions with all of the Consortium’s Sector Workgroups plus two multi-sector groups, administered an online feedback survey, and consulted with national experts in collaboration with the STTIC Institute at University Health System. The Ecumenical Center developed the certification domains, standards, definitions, and procedures, which were adopted by the STTIC Governance Council on July 15, 2020.

Cross-Sector Standards for Certified Trauma Informed Organizations

Certification for Trauma Informed Organizations is offered across all sectors for entities that have made organization-wide improvements to policies, procedures, everyday practices, and organization culture consistent with the domains and standards of trauma informed organizations.

Equity and culture are key factors of the certification, and The Ecumenical Center, in collaboration with the South Texas Trauma Informed Care Consortium and the Institute for Trauma Informed Care at UHS, provides a supportive approach to certification. Certified Trauma Informed Organizations share a common language and are better prepared to collaborate with organizations throughout the community.

Becoming a Trauma Informed Organization

Applying the domains of Trauma Informed Organizations can improve client services, increase staff and client resilience and retention, reduce burnout and disengagement, increase participation and engagement, and empower clients and staff to adopt safer and healthier behaviors. Other efforts, such as updating policy requirements or continuous quality improvement, can also be enhanced by trauma-informed implementation.

Certification as a Trauma Informed Organization represents an organization’s deep commitment to authentic improvement. The journey requires consistent progress that may include organization-wide shifts and culture change. Certification does not represent a quick checklist of tasks and should be attempted only when the organization is ready. Tools to help assess the organization’s readiness are provided following submission of the interest form.

Application Steps

  1. Submit the interest form to begin your organization’s journey
  2. Complete a self-assessment review and any improvements or updates
  3. Submit application for certification, including documentation of each standard for desk review
  4. After desk review is accepted, schedule a site review
  5. Complete any re-certification requirements to maintain certification

Proprietary Note: Documents and information received from The Ecumenical Center for trauma-informed certification are the property of The Ecumenical Center and are not to be disclosed, reproduced in whole or in part, adapted, modified, disclosed to others, or disseminated without prior written consent of The Ecumenical Center. Use of the certification documents and the information contained in them is reserved for organizations seeking trauma informed certification by The Ecumenical Center.