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Rob Seaton presentation

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  • 1. Trauma-Informed Careand PracticeMeeting the ChallengeSpecialist Homelessness Services
  • 2. Trauma-Informed Careand PracticeMeeting the ChallengeSpecialist Homelessness Services
  • 3. Project OriginsI thought I was doing the right thing…
  • 4. Exposure to TraumaOnce in a lifetime? 100% 93%Note: 90%General Population 80%At least 1 event 70% 57%Homeless Population 60%At least 2 events, but 6 50%on average. 40%100% of women who 30%were homeless 20%experienced at least one 10%major traumatic event in 0%their lives. Traumatic Events General Population People who are homeless Hodder, Teesson & Buhrich (1998), Down and Out in Sydney: Prevalence of Mental Disorders, Disability and Health Service Use among Homeless People in Inner Sydney Taylor (2006), PTSD Among Homeless Adults in Sydney
  • 5. Home75% of homeless people struggle to define ‘home’.People who are housed:House = just a house – four walls and a roof.Home = a place of warmth and belonging among friends and family.People who are homeless:House = a shared dwelling that isn’t yours.Home = a solitary living environment.Homeless = escaping home. Tomas and Dittmar (1995), The experience of homeless women: An exploration of housing histories and the meaning of home
  • 6. Compassionate EngagementListeningA key starting point to developing long-term solutions to iterativehomelessness by more effectively working to identify underlying ratherthan presenting issues.Core observation: those surviving both homelessness and violentvictimisation do not understand themselves as precious and worthy ofassistance.For whom and how many will compassionate engagement, willlistening, come too late? Robinson (2010), Rough living: surviving violence and homelessness
  • 7. Compassionate EngagementA persistent, reliable, intimate and respectful relationship“the particular qualities which facilitate the development of an effectiveworking relationship in the context of case management. The quality ofintimacy is a consequence of the genuine emotional dimension and theeveryday nature of the case management activities” Gronda (2009), What makes case management work for people experiencing homelessness?Rapport PLUSRapport building that goes beyond, perhaps, our traditional orprofessional understanding. It demands that we keep less of an arms-length. It insists that some attachment is necessary and healthy.Attachment ≠ DependenceServing ≠ Enabling
  • 8. Trauma-Informed Care in SHS Traditional Response Trauma-Informed ResponseImpact of Not a primary defining event in Central, primary events impactingTrauma people’s lives. everything else – all-encompassing.Style of Proactive – services and systems Reactive – services and systemsService / focus on preventing further crisis are crisis-driven.Atmosphere and re-traumatisation.Symptoms Discrete and separate. Inter-related and coping methods. Shared power – everyone trained to ‘Objective’ and ‘distant’. respond to someone in distress andWorker / about trauma’s impact on individualsClient People who are homeless are activeRelationship Service-providers are the experts. experts and partners in services – Homeless clients are passive they’re viewed as experts in knowing recipients of services. what is best for them.
  • 9. Trauma-Informed Care in SHS Traditional Response Trauma-Informed ResponseSupport Defined by service providers and Defined by the person and focus onGoals focus on symptom reduction. recovering and healing. Clients are broken, vulnerable, Recovery is possible. MaximisingRoad to damaged and needing protection choice, autonomy, self-recovery from themselves. Agencies are determination, dignity and respect is responsible for ‘fixing’ the ‘problem’. central to healing. Challenging behaviours are the Difficult clients such as those with ordinary responses to trauma.Challenging behavioral problems and substance They’re opportunities to help peoplebehaviours abuse issues are excluded. address the impact of their behaviours in their own lives. A Long Journey Home, National Centre on Family Homelessness, USA
  • 10. Trauma-Informed Care in SHSCommon ThemesTrauma awarenessEmphasis on safetyOpportunities to rebuild controlStrengths-based approach Hopper, Bassuk and Olivet (2010), Shelter from the Storm: Trauma- Informed Care in Homelessness Services Settings
  • 11. ReflectionsAm I still not doing the right thing…?

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