2020 Grants Challenge

WECARE Trauma-Informed Training

Idea by CleanSlate

This training program provides assessment, training and care for 10 community partner organizations that work with people experiencing trauma but who are not themselves trained in trauma-informed care. Our trainings empower agencies to do high-quality, trauma-sensitive work as well as to better understand how to address the impact of secondary trauma on their staff. The session is taught and assessed by clinicians, who then provide therapy for participants who need additional support to manage trauma, in their own lives or for those they serve.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

LAUSD (please select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

We focus on organizations that serve individuals of all ages experiencing trauma related to: domestic violence, homelessness, incarceration, immigration, poverty. Our outreach shows that many organizations are not trained in trauma-informed care. Not only do they need these resources to do their work at the highest level, but they also benefit from understanding secondary trauma.

According to the American Counseling Association, caregivers may experience secondary trauma as a result of becoming “witnesses to the pain, fear, and terror that trauma survivors have endured.” Examples of this abound. One 2012 study found that over 75% of 300 school staff personnel showed strong signs secondary trauma syndrome.

We recognize that we need to develop support systems for those who work on the frontlines if we want our caregivers and organizations to succeed, without burnout or harm to themselves.

Examples of organizations are: education, gang-prevention, probation/reentry, social services.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

Since 2011, our leadership has provided training and services to over 7,500 people in more than 50 community-based organizations.

We currently have a team of over 30 trauma-informed clinicians that make up Los Angeles’ leading specialists in Trauma-Informed/Community Care. Together, we have developed this unique program. Many of our specialists have strong private practices, but they are also committed to working with at-risk communities. They do this by supporting CleanSlate on a near-volunteer basis, which enables the funding we seek to go far.

We come together to support this program because we know that by sharing our specialized training with community members working on the ground, we leverage our ability to provide higher-level care to many more people than any us could on our own.

We can offer these trainings despite the uncertainty created by COVID-19, as we have industry approval to do therapy remotely, which we believe is urgently needed at these organizations today.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 700

Indirect Impact: 21,000

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Trauma can be passed down through generations (ACEs study, Felitti, 1998). Trauma-informed care fosters healing and resilience, thereby mitigating transmission of trauma. Support of frontline community organizations can positively impact generations to come.

Many organizations do not have a budget to provide training/support for staff. However, we assert that access to mental health resources must be a right, not a privilege. Programs like this help build towards a world that provides access to mental health care for all.

The health of the individual impacts the health of the community, just as the health of the community impacts the health of the individual. In this way, we strive to affect change in our society from the inside out.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

We will partner with ten organizations at an average of 70 participants. This enables 700 people serving our communities to work with a higher level of trauma-informed care, as well as with the tools to understand the importance of their own self-care as it relates to secondary trauma.

Our program integrates assessment by: (1) working with the partner organization to understand the needs of their clientele in order to develop the best program for them; (2) assessing all participants’ emotional state at the beginning of the workshop through questionnaires; (3) assessing the impact of the workshop upon its completion.

We provide this data to the participating organizations for use in program assessment, reports to stakeholders, or however an organization may need evidence of their understanding of the issues. This is valuable not only to the assessment and training requirements of each organization, but also to help us improve our programming. We are committed to integrity-focused assessment practices, in which we continually assess ourselves to ensure that we are improving our work.

The organizations we work with report improved ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma; avoiding re-traumatization; integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices. They also report a better understanding of identifying the strengths of their clientele and the challenges they face, to tailor service plans to their specific needs.

Which of the LIVE metrics will your submission impact?​

Resilient communities

Mental illness

Access to mental health services

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?​

LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Communications support

Office space for meetings, events, or for staff

Strategy assistance and implementation