Brief Series: Trauma-Informed Care for Veterans Experiencing Homelessness
Traumatic experiences can affect women veterans' ability to maintain health and sustain employment, increasing their risk for homelessness. Trauma-informed care is now seen as a best practice to support recovery.
The National Center on Family Homelessness has developed a series of briefs based on findings from Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness, a first-of-its-kind, multi-site demonstration project focused on building the capacity of veteran-serving agencies, particularly those serving women veterans, to adopt a universal, organization-wide approach to understanding and responding to trauma.
Trauma-informed care is a universal framework for addressing trauma that requires changes to the practices, policies, and culture of an entire organization, so all staff have the awareness, knowledge, and skills needed to support veterans. This brief provides an introduction to trauma-informed care and identifies reasons why trauma-informed care is a best practice for serving veterans experiencing homelessness. Based on lessons learned from a two-year demonstration project, the brief outlines a multi-phased model for adopting trauma-informed care as an organization-wide approach to service design and delivery.
Investing in the workforce is a critical first step for organizations to provide trauma-informed care for veterans. Investing in training, supervision, and ongoing support builds organizational culture and capacity to understand and respond to veterans in ways that support recovery and minimize potential for doing additional harm. This brief outlines key strategies for building staff capacity to provide trauma-informed care.
Understanding the unique experiences and needs of women Veterans is critical to providing quality care. This brief explores the prevalence of trauma in the lives of women veterans, the intersection between trauma and homelessness, and special considerations for providing trauma-informed care for this population.