Organizational Transformation: Creating a Trauma-Informed Organization

A trauma-informed approach to healing is critical at every level of the therapeutic model. We understand the complex and lasting impacts of trauma on the communities we serve, and believe in creating an organizational model that respects, acknowledges and addresses trauma-informed care from a holistic and approachable level.

FamilyWorks Together has a unique lens that focuses on the healing power of connection and safe relationships at an organizational, staff, and clinical level. Leadership in an organization is often “too close” to think strategically about how to address the systemic challenges that have plagued them for years. FamilyWorks Together provides a comprehensive organizational assessment, transformation plan development, training, and team and individual coaching to help identify and address their core challenges around creating a trauma informed environment, and providing trauma informed care. A trauma-informed and trauma-responsive workforce is professionally and emotionally prepared to work with a traumatized client base, trusts their co-workers and supervisors, feels empowered to act ethically and voice concerns, and feels entitled to the self-care that will keep them safe and whole.

Organizational Assessment:

This phase of organizational transformation includes a customized agency survey on knowledge, attitudes, and practice of trauma informed care. Additionally, we provide key informant interviews on current practices and desired outcomes in-person or by phone. We then analyze this data and begin the customized transformation plan development.

Transformation Plan Development:

Using the various components of the organizational assessment, the FamilyWorks Together team will compare survey and key-informant responses to SAMHSA guidelines for trauma informed best practices and identify areas for maximum growth. We will then customize our training to your areas and your organization. In partnership with you, we will create a training and coaching plan to meet your needs. Training can happen organization-wide or be department or even team specific. Key players can receive coaching in trauma informed and responsive supervision, leadership, and strategic direction.

Training and Coaching

Our highly experienced training team will implement the agreed upon training. Our Master Clinical Trainer has trained on trauma informed and trauma responsive work locally, nationally and internationally and has received outstanding reviews from social workers to CEOs and medical personnel. We integrate adult learning theory, participatory learning, emotional engagement, and intrinsic motivation to create a training that is both informative and skills based so that your staff gains knowledge and valuable skills they can begin using the next day.

We provide monthly follow up coaching sessions to individuals, teams and organizations. Research tells us that we can rarely change an ingrained behavior after simply learning about another option. Coaching provides guidance, feedback and support for these changes as well as providing an additional level of accountability. Coaching ensures that changes are being made on the individual, team, and organizational level.

Here’s an Example of a Five-Part Trauma Informed Care Series:

This series was specifically curated for a social services agency that emphasized a clinical lens.

Part 1: The Neuroscience of the Brain ↓

  • Practitioners will learn Brain Basics 101.
  • Practitioners will understand how trauma can affect the developing brain.
  • Practitioners will understand how neurological disorders, like FASD, can be affected and exacerbated by trauma.
  • Practitioners will learn the basic functions of the parts of the brain impacted by trauma.
  • Practitioners will understand how trauma changes the brain’s normal stress response into extreme survival-based, dysregulated reactions that may lead to substance abuse and other unhealthy behaviors.

Part 2: Attachment ↓

  • Practitioners will understand the principles of attachment.
  • Practitioners will learn the role of trauma in creating and exacerbating unhealthy attachment.
  • Practitioners will be able to identify the hallmarks of unhealthy attachment in both children and adults.
  • Practitioners will understand the effects of disrupted attachment on clients’ relationships with partners, children, and practitioners.

Part 3: Practical Application ↓

  • Practitioners will learn how to apply treatment modalities in various environments and with different types of families.
  • Practitioners will learn to respond to a client’s moment-to-moment experience, especially during extreme states of distress that can lead to the danger of re-traumatization and/or substance abuse.
  • Practitioners will increase their ability to use stress management sills, such as relaxation and positive self- talk and emotional regulation skills such as the identification, expression and modulation of negative affect.
  • Practitioners will strengthen their ability to stay regulated even when intervening with extremely dysregulated clients.

Part 4: The Trauma-Informed Practitioner ↓

  • Practitioners will identify, differentiate, and address the signs of secondary traumatic stress/vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout.
  • Practitioners will understand the importance of finding their personal balance between meaningful connection and setting appropriate boundaries to allow them to be effective with clients in a long term, sustainable way.
  • Practitioners learn how to utilize self-care strategies, grounding techniques, and self-compassion to mitigate burnout and vicarious.

Part 5: The Trauma-Informed Organization ↓

  • Practitioners will learn the components of a trauma informed organization.
  • Practitioners will learn how to lead, supervise and partner with colleagues through the lens of trauma-informed care.
  • Practitioners will learn the ‘holding model’ of supporting our supervisees to allow them to support our clients.


  • Organizational assessment including agency-wide survey and three key informant interviews: $2,700
  • Transformation Plan Development: Free with purchase of organizational assessment and training.
  • Training: $350/hour, plus travel and administrative fees
  • Coaching: $250/hour

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a training, please contact Melanie Geddings-Hayes, LCSW-C, by clicking here.