The use of trauma-informed approaches in schools reflects a national movement to create educational environments that are responsive to the needs of trauma-exposed youth through the implementation of effective practices and systems-change strategies. The goal of the National Institute of Justice-funded Safe Schools NOLA project is to determine whether a multicomponent implementation strategy including professional development in trauma-informed care, on-site consultation in the use of trauma-informed strategies, and technical assistance for system-wide adoption of trauma-informed approaches improves school safety by aligning staff attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors with a trauma-informed approach.
See below for a visual representation of the Safe Schools NOLA intervention.
Over the course of three years, Safe Schools NOLA implemented this intervention with six schools in New Orleans. The Safe Schools NOLA Implementation Team school consists of a Project Coordinator, School Support Specialist and Teacher Support Specialist. The School Support Specialist, a social worker with expertise in strategic planning, training and development, leads the needs assessment and action planning process with school leadership teams. The Teacher Support Specialist, a social worker with expertise in trauma and previous classroom experience, leads professional developments, provides teacher coaching and mentors a group of Peer Support Specialists. Work with teachers and the leadership team both help to support the end-of-year goal of creating a realistic and sustainable action plan to support the continued work of becoming a trauma-informed school.
See below for a visual representation of the Safe Schools NOLA intervention, assessment and action planning components.