Violence Reduction Alliance

What is Trauma?

Trauma is the complex psychological and emotional response to a painful and upsetting situation or series of situations (including, but not limited to physical violence, sexual assault, emotional abuse, witnessing violence, being the victim of violent attacks either physically and/or psychologically, witnessing accidents or natural disasters). It is not just the event itself that defines trauma, but an individual’s emotional experience of these events.

Why is Trauma Informed Practice Important?

Implementing Trauma-Informed Practice requires an awareness of its existence, and understanding of the role it plays, and the ability to adjust our approach and practice accordingly. If we embed this approach in meaningful ways the outcomes for those, we work with irrespective of trauma experiences, will be improved. (Center of Disease Control, 2020).

A primary aim of Trauma Informed Practice is to increase an organisation’s awareness of how trauma can negatively impact on children and adults, so that they can adapt practices to avoid causing further trauma. 

As such, Trauma Informed Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire (TrISS) has developed a suite of resources to assist professionals and organisations to realise, recognise, respond and resist re-traumatisation. 


TrISS has developed the below resources to provide organisations and professionals with an understanding of trauma, the potential impacts of trauma and how to implement trauma informed care. A training video, briefing and explainer guide has been produced for each of the topics


These documents provide a high-level overview of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma and introduce the suite of resources to support the start of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire becoming Trauma Informed. 

An Introduction to Trauma and Trauma Informed Practice

Trauma is complex and multi-layered and can have a range of impacts on those who experience it. These resources have been designed to provide you with an overview of what trauma and trauma informed practice are. We explore what to look out for and how we can help.

Acknowledging the Potential Impact of Trauma

In these resources, we sensitively explore some of the impacts trauma can have on physical and psychological wellbeing. You will be able to take away what an immediate response, ongoing support and how to support in the long term may look like.

Minimising the Effects of Vicarious Trauma

When working with others who have experienced trauma, it is essential that we remember ourselves too! It is hoped that these resources will support you to reflect on your own wellbeing and to consider how we can minimise the impact on our own wellbeing.

Integrating Trauma Knowledge into Organisational Cultures

Trauma informed responses need supportive, transformational leaders. Here, we explore what is required on a cross-organisational level so that we can foster a sense of belonging and keep our teams well. Additionally, you will start to build up an understanding how to create and implement policies and practices for working with Children and Young People who have experienced trauma.

Practical Strategies for Collective Care

For those with leadership and management roles, we consider how to engrain team well-being practices and support each individual’s contribution to the overall well-being of others. This is achieved through an explanation of the meaning of collective care, the principles that underpin it, and some strategies to try. 

Practical Strategies for Co-Production

The best learning we can gain is to learn from those who are using our services. In these resources, we explore together the principles of co-production, how we can work equitably and how to evaluate how trauma-sensitive our services are for those at the heart of them. 

Appropriate Language Use in Trauma Informed Practice

Language is one of the most powerful tools we have and sometimes it can be challenging to find the right words when we are supporting those who have experienced or are experiencing trauma. This guide contains insights into how to be more aware of the language and we have also included some examples of phrases you can use.

Our Pledgers

Our pledgers are utilising the TrISS resources to help make Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire a Trauma Informed area. To become a pledger email


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