The Case for Trauma-Informed Philanthropy

12 February 2017

In her Huffington Post article, Abby Alexanian argues the case for philanthropists to take a trauma-informed approach to giving. In doing so she highlights the ways institutions such as courts, schools and homelessness services could better support their constituents through a trauma-informed approach to the work that they perform.

Alexanian highlights the success of the PEAK initiative in Delaware, as an example of how trauma-informed funding can benefit whole communities. She encourages funders to think not only in terms of what services they can give to that are already trauma-informed, but also about how they might be able to educate and encourage other potential recipients to adopt trauma-informed approaches.

At SAL Consulting we are encouraged by the steady and growing stream of voices calling for the provision of trauma-informed services, and believe philanthropy based on an understanding of the impacts of trauma is likely to represent money well spent.

We also believe that the promotion of trauma-informed approaches should be a shared responsibility with government, NGOs, philanthropists, and the wider community – all working towards a common goal of creating trauma-informed institutions for the benefit of all.

Key Quotes:

“Philanthropy can elevate trauma-informed work by funding it, certainly, but also by educating grantees and encouraging them to adopt trauma-informed approaches.”

“Trauma can affect people in all areas of their lives, and therefore influences every problem social service providers address. Repeated or severe exposure to trauma can change the brain, making it harder for kids and adults to learn, control impulses, focus, and perform tasks that are important for wellbeing in school, work, relationships, and other areas of life. The good news is that trauma and its effect on the brain is both preventable and reversible, with appropriate support and interventions.”

“Not being trauma-informed often means that services intended to help can end up re-traumatizing people. For instance, when school officials respond to a misbehaving student with expulsion, it can re-traumatize a child who faces abuse or rejection at home.”

Link to Full Article Published 17/1/17:


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