Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Shanta R. Dube

Second Advisor

Savannah James

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic exposures that have a profound impact in children’s lives. The Kaiser-CDC ACE Study was instrumental to informing the SAMHSA trauma-informed care (TIC) framework. Building trauma-informed ecosystems in family and child-serving sectors is critical, especially given that ACEs are widespread. However, there remains a lack of information on baseline knowledge and practices across various sectors.

AIM: The purpose of this study is to explore the baseline knowledge and practices of trauma-informed care among adults working in four different sectors: child welfare, education, healthcare, and law enforcement in Georgia.

METHODS: The present study utilizes secondary evaluation data from participants who took The Why and How of Trauma-Informed Care© from 2017-2018. The data were collected as a baseline evaluation assessment for the workforce training and includes the following sectors: healthcare; child welfare, advocacy, and justice; and educational sectors. In total, 148 individuals responded to the baseline questionnaire. Analysis was conducted using SAS 9.4 to calculate the proportion who had knowledge and/or education. Chi-square statistics were used to examine differences in knowledge and practice across sectors using an alpha of p<.05.

RESULTS: Examination of sectors in aggregate indicated that a quarter of participants don’t know or do not think it is applicable that there be education or training to help staff members talk about a crisis after it happens (29.64%). Additionally, close to a quarter (24.03%) indicated that they did not know or thought it was not applicable to discuss self-care topics in team meetings. Other findings of importance included that 80% had previously received education or training on what is traumatic stress.

CONCLUSION: Given the findings, baseline knowledge and training appear to be highly evident in most of the workforce who took part in the study. However, an area that appears to need more attention includes the aspects about self-care in the context of secondary trauma. Also, more work needs to be done to ensure universal education and training across sectors.

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