Creating a Trauma-Informed System of Care for Formerly Incarcerated Dads

OPRE Report 2019-62
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 30, 2019
Robin Dion, Melissa Azur, Michaella Morzuch, and Lareina LaFlair

Key Findings:

  • Key elements of a trauma-informed system of care are: an organizational commitment to a trauma-informed system of care, staff training in awareness of and appropriate response to trauma, and practices to foster healing and avoid further traumatization.
  • Fatherhood programs can conduct screenings to identify fathers who may benefit from clinical mental health services, and refer fathers who need further mental health assessments or clinical treatment to “in-house” clinical providers or external partners.
  • Fatherhood program staff could implement several nonclinical trauma-specific programs that support fathers with a trauma history. These programs are described in the brief.
  • Several tools and training resources, including trauma screeners, organizational assessments, and agencies that provide trainings, are available to fatherhood programs interested in implementing a trauma-informed system of care. These resources are described in the brief.
The purpose of this brief is to describe how fatherhood programs serving men in reentry can infuse their programming with the principles and elements of a trauma-informed system of care to support fathers and staff who have experienced trauma. The brief also identifies resources that may help fatherhood programs implement a trauma-informed system of care.