Susan Hunt, Marlene M. Moretti, Chris Booth, Nickole Reyda


When programs and services incorporate an understanding of trauma and its impact on an individual’s behaviour and ability to cope, the potential for misdiagnosis and inadequate treatment planning is significantly reduced. Incorporating trauma-informed approaches into service delivery is an essential component to developing programs that accurately address the needs of youth and their families. The organization involved in this study, in the Province of British Columbia, Canada, provides an extensive array of services to youths aged 12 to 18 years who have significant emotional, behavioural, and psychiatric difficulties. In a joint multidisciplinary effort to better support traumatized young people and their families, the organization embarked on an in-depth evaluation of its service delivery. Together the team co-created a shift in practice that supported the translation of trauma-informed principles into practice and developed valid and measurable methods for evaluation through the adoption of a participatory action framework. Four semi-structured interviews were developed for collecting qualitative feedback from clients, stakeholders, and staff who experienced the change in service delivery across 5 clinical cases over the course of 8 months. The feedback confirmed that the shift in practice was effective in cultivating an environment of safety, choice, and collaboration for clients. This resulted in the development of an evidence-based shift in service delivery as well as identifying training needs and developing plans to integrate this change into broader practice throughout the organization.


trauma informed, principles, qualitative research, Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre, the Maples, evidenced-based, service delivery

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Copyright (c) 2018 Susan Hunt, Marlene M. Moretti, Chris Booth, Nickole Reyda

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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies

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© University of Victoria
Victoria, BC Canada


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