Home > Trauma-informed Wales: a societal approach to understanding, preventing and supporting the impacts of trauma and adversity.

ACE Hub Wales. (2022) Trauma-informed Wales: a societal approach to understanding, preventing and supporting the impacts of trauma and adversity. Cardiff: Public Health Wales NHS Trust.

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This document aims to set out an all-society Framework to support a coherent, consistent approach to developing and implementing trauma-informed practice across Wales, providing the best possible support to those who need it most. The Framework establishes how individuals, families/other support networks, communities, organisations and systems take account of adversity and trauma, recognising and supporting the strengths of an individual to overcome this experience in their lives. It also sets out the support they can expect to receive from the organisations, sectors and systems that they may turn to for help. It has been written to be inclusive of people of all ages, from babies, children and young people right through to older adults. The Framework applies to the whole of Welsh society but the target audience for this document is those responsible for making trauma-informed policy and developing trauma-informed organisations and services. It is hoped that the Framework will be helpful to a much wider range of people. To ensure equity of access, a plain English summary, companion documents and other resources for a range of audiences, including specific populations such as children and young people, will accompany the Framework. 

The Framework has been produced to support society in Wales to ensure we create the best possible conditions for people to receive timely support that is done with, rather than done to, trauma-informed, trauma-reducing and based on individual needs, to prevent suffering and aid healing and growth. This covers a continuum from awareness that trauma and adversity exists and recognising the multiple presentations of the impacts of trauma, enabling services to support practice that helps people feel connected, valued and safe, through to specialist clinical interventions, that are personalised and coproduced, when these are required. The Framework takes a human rights and children’s rights-based approach and aims to complement relevant legislation, policy and other frameworks.  It acknowledges the strengths and limitations of different paradigms and aims to support a balanced, joined-up approach that recognises and respects differences between people who share the common goal of improving the health and wellbeing of those affected by traumatic events and adversity. It recognises the need to be inclusive and consider the multiple factors, including social, psychological and biological, that contribute to the development of the many presentations encountered. It recognises alternative models to diagnostic ones, for example the Power Threat Meaning Framework, and recognises the perceived utility of different models and paradigms to different people. It recognises the need for the whole of Welsh society to work together to create a better Wales. 

The Framework recognises that people may experience a complex journey that does not follow a linear path in their response to, or experience of, overcoming adversity and trauma and seeks to promote systems change to reflect that understanding. Reducing exposure to adversity and trauma is about ensuring everyone has a chance to access the right conditions to thrive. This Framework is not about labelling people, or reducing their experience to a metric based on scores or screening, but seeks to guard against negative or damaging practices and to separate the person from their traumatic experiences. This Framework promotes an understanding that all of us will have experiences in our lives that we may find distressing or traumatic for which we may at times benefit from seeking help. The Framework is strengths-based and outcomes focused.

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