On ‘Trauma-Informed’ Services

There is an excellent post at homelessness.change.ogr by Joy Eckstine entitled “Hey Homeless Services, First Do No Harm“.  The article explores the issue of trauma and homeless persons, and how to provide services that are appropriate to persons who have experienced trauma.  In providing services for persons experiencing homelessness, one of the major challenges is determining how to deal with behaviours deemed to be ‘difficult’.  Are disciplinary measures appropriate?  How much?  How do we balance the Giddensian agency/structure dialectic in a way that is most respectful of our patients/clients/residents?

Eckstine suggests that there is room for setting limits, and for confronting people around rules and regulations, but that we can do so without becoming jaded, or losing the “drive of service and compassion” that leads us to this sector.  She points to this excellent website that provides information on best practices for health care providers in doing trauma-informed care.  Hopefully our practice in working with people who are traumatized and at times challenging can be based in good evidence, rather than intuition (which at times is more reflective of frustration).

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