Our work is evidenced based and we have a research strategy and aim to add to the international evidence base for Trauma Informed Practice.

Research Overview 1

We Would Be Stronger

This report on the needs of women in Limerick accessing probation, homeless and substance use services documented a disproportionately high level of childhood adversity (96% of women had at least one adverse childhood experience) and adulthood trauma (91% had experienced intimate partner violence in adulthood). When service providers scores and service users scores on adherence to trauma-informed values were compared, the research showed that services over-estimated their adherence to trauma informed values.

Research Overview 2

Early Life Trauma and Garda Youth Diversion Services

This research explores the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among a cohort of young people engaged in Garda Youth Diversion Programmes (GYDP), and the implications for Garda Youth Diversion Projects. The research revealed disproportionate rates of trauma among young people engaged with youth policing services, and unanimous support from youth justice police officers for trauma-training for the police.

Research Overview 3

Trauma Informed Care in a Women’s Homeless Service

This dissertation undertaken for psychology masters in Queens University Belfast revealed statistically significant reduction in incident severity in a homeless service after undertaking trauma-informed practice training. This included the need for emergency medical services to be called in incidents falling from 66.3% (pre-training) to 33.3% (post-training) and the need for the administration of first aid to fall from 25% to 9%. The research was undertaken by Deirdre Kirwan of Queens University Belfast.

Research Overview 4

Trauma-Informed Care: A Study of Incidents in a Low-Threshold Residence for Homeless Adults

This dissertation undertaken for a psychology masters in the University of Limerick revealed a large reduction in the frequency of a variety of incident types pre and post training, including an overall reduction in incidents of over 65%. The research was undertaken by Talha Al Ali and Dr Ronnie Greenwood of University of Limerick.

Research Overview 5

Retrospective Outcomes Analysis

A number of studies have been undertaken with participants at approximately three months post-training to identify whether they had observed any changes in their perceptions of themselves, their work with service users or their teams. The results below are from one service, and have been mirrored in two other large organisations:

  • In terms of dealing with customers 87% of staff saw a positive change in how they dealt with customers in distress, 87% were better able to connect with customers in distress, 87% felt more compassion towards customers, 81% had increased respect for customers, 93% felt better able to think before responding, 78% could separate difficult behaviours from the person and 93% felt they had changed how they speak to or about service users. There was no negative change reported by staff in terms of how they experienced customers.
  • In terms of changes in the staff’s behaviours or feelings towards themselves there was a marked increase in observed self-care (84%), grounding practices (85%), self-compassion (74%), trusting own instincts (77%), taking difficulties less personally (57%), feeling less stressed at work (67%) and feeling less stressed about work (67%)
  • In terms of team or workplace 66% reported a positive change in how customers were spoken about in meetings, 74% reported a positive improvement in how colleagues spoke to customers, 63% saw an improvement in how customer incidents were handled generally, 67% saw an improvement in responding to aggressive behaviour
  • 50% of staff saw an openness of senior management to adopting TIP policies, while 50% saw no change to senior managements openness to TIP