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Trauma-Informed Care

Why Trauma-Informed Care?

COFY recognizes that trauma and neglect impact and disrupt development, regulation of affect, impulse control, cognitive/executive functioning and relationships.   With our clients, the neurological/somatic impact of trauma is repeatedly experienced in a visceral way as distress that mandates a fight/flight/freeze response for survival.  Trauma and neglect impact the child’s ability to self-soothe, to experience care and safety when with others, to experience non-destructive pleasure, to live, relate and succeed in the present, and to conceive of a future.  Too often,  clients experience  self harming behaviors, or rapidly escalating aggression, as the only way to reduce overwhelming distress. Many also experience a feeling of shame that can further interfere with relationships, the development of a positive and realistic sense of self, and the willingness to participate in treatment.  COFY recognizes that family caregivers, foster families, CFS social workers, and Mental Health clinicians are all committed to the safety, healing, stability and success of the children we serve and all are essential partners.  COFY continues to be committed to evidence-supported models of intervention that address all of these concerns.

What is Trauma-Informed Care?

COFY clinicians have been trained to inquire, with sensitivity, about the incidence and impact of trauma in the lives of children and parents.  COFY clinicians utilize an individualized assessment that identifies the nature of trauma, the developmental stage at which it occurred and its impact on emotional regulation, relationships, cognitive functioning,  and sense of self.  COFY clinicians use this information to develop, with the child and others in their system of care, an intervention plan that provides the tools to reduce overwhelming trauma activation.  COFY clinicians work with the child, caregivers and school personnel to help each child live within their own window of tolerance. This helps the child to feel safe,  understood, cared for and competent in the present and within  their own system of care.

How does COFY provide Trauma-Informed Care?

COFY clinicians strive to infuse the concepts and methods of trauma-informed care in all the services that we provide. Through our various programs, COFY provides family-focused, trauma-informed and strength-based services that support  a child’s experience of acceptance, understanding, connection and community.  COFY clinicians work to insure that an experience of safety, nurturance, competence and fun will help to restore relational capacity, reduce the marginalization that too often accompanies trauma, and  supports the child’s ability to explore and to become who they really are.

Additionally, COFY has made numerous efforts to expand the availability of trauma-informed care to a broader range of youth and families.  COFY registered to be on the Preferred Mental Health Provider List for the Victims Assistance Program in order to provide Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and other trauma informed mental health services to children and families residing in Contra Costa County.  COFY also began collaborating with the Bureau of  Children and Family Services to identify assessment and consultation services that would identify the needs of children referred to CFS and facilitate treatment for traumatized youth.  Since that time, COFY has continued our commitment to providing a wide range of trauma-informed evidence based practice models to serve the individual needs of the youth, including TF-CBT, PCIT, EMDR, and the Incredible Years Parenting Program.

We currently do not have the resources to provide all of these services, and we are actively seeking partners who would both collaborate and/or help to fund further expansion of trauma-informed care to be available to people in need in our community.