Monday, 15 August 2022
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Monday, 15 August 2022

Changing Tunes: Trauma-Informed Practice

CHANGING Tunes has for a long time described ourselves as ‘trauma aware’ because we are acutely aware that many of the people we work with have experienced great trauma in their lives. But this year we have undertaken to go further. We started a process to become a ‘trauma-informed organisation’. 

Being trauma-informed is considering the implications of past and ongoing trauma in all aspects of our work. It means considering how systems, physical environments, language, culture and policy all have the ability to trigger trauma but also, if handled in the right way, can begin to reduce the impact of past hurts.

To enable this top down, organisation-wide change, we have pulled together a steering group from across our organisation to develop and deliver a strategic plan that along the way should enable us to become accredited as a Trauma-Informed Organisation by the wonderful One Small Thing.

The process is forcing us to look at all aspects of who we are and what we do. We are lifting stones and looking underneath them, reassessing our practice and policy that in some cases has been in place for years. It is a scary thing to do but is already yielding very interesting and positive results. 

Our work in prisons has the potential to be harmful and triggering to our staff, partners and participants alike. Doing no harm seems like a low bar to aim for but in reality, it is a challenge within such a complex environment. The self-assessment process we are now going through will ensure that we are doing everything we can to reduce the risks of harm and in turn support even more effective outcomes for participants. 

Much of the motivation for undertaking the process is in fact to focus on the impact the work can have on our staff and volunteers. As in so many service organisations, our people are our greatest asset and we want to ensure that the societal benefits of our work do not come at undue cost to our team. 

Our accreditation submission will be complete by the end of the summer but we are scheduling the strategic work to last around two years. We look forward to reporting back to you then about how it has gone!

To see updates about our progress on this and other projects, follow us on social media:

www.facebook.com/changingtunes

www.twitter.com/ChangingTunesSW

www.instagram.com/changingtunes

www.youtube.com/changingtunes

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