Trauma-Informed Care - Principles

Logo for Trauma-Informed Care

The Department of Health Services trauma-informed care initiative seeks to incorporate knowledge about trauma prevalence, impact, and recovery in all aspects of service delivery. There are five primary principles for trauma-informed care.



Physical and emotional safety. Both the setting and interactions are physically and psychologically safe which includes where and when services are delivered, as well as awareness of an individual’s discomfort or unease.

Trustworthiness and Transparency

Meaningful sharing of power and decision-making. Transparent operations and decisions maintain trust. Ensuring trustworthiness through clarity and consistency.


Voice and choice. The aim here is to strengthen staff’s, participants’, and families’ experience of choice. There is recognition of the need for an individualized approach. There is active participation in decision-making regarding services. It is understood that offering built-in small choices make a real difference.

Collaboration and Mutuality

Partnership and leveling of power differences. This is recognition that healing happens in relationships and meaningful sharing of power.


An individual’s strengths are recognized, built on, and validated.

Source: Roger D. Fallot and Maxine Harris, 2006

Last Revised: August 17, 2016