ARC for Agencies and Systems
What Does it Mean to be an ARC-Based or ARC-Informed Agency?
Provider agencies may enter into the process of building trauma-informed services using ARC from a variety of places: some systems have a long history and track record of addressing trauma-informed care, and others are just beginning to enter into a process of system transformation. What these programs typically have in common is a commitment to providing services that are safe, respectful, and empowering for youth, caregivers, and providers; a frame that specifically incorporates an understanding of the impact that trauma and adversity have had on the child or family’s presentation and needs; and integration of clinical services or clinically informed practices that address these trauma-related impacts.
An “ARC-Based Agency” is generally one that has organized its approach (clinical intervention, milieu practices, staff training) around the core concepts of the ARC framework. An “ARC-Informed Agency” has incorporated features of ARC into its programming, but may not be addressing all core concepts in the framework. Although there is no formal certification process for an agency at present, ARC trainers / consultants can support an agency in conducting a self-assessment of practice evaluating the key features targeted by ARC; these in turn can be linked to strategic planning initiatives.
ARC-based / ARC-informed agencies may address the core ARC targets in a range of ways. For instance, a school system may provide training to its staff in foundations of trauma-related behaviors (Attunement), support teachers in building awareness of their own responses to challenging student behaviors (Caregiver Affect Management), and integrate the use of in-class individualized regulation “toolboxes” (Modulation). A therapeutic foster care program might provide skills-training for foster parents in “reading the need” under youth behaviors (Attunement), train case management staff in specific support strategies for resource caregivers (Caregiver Affect management), and work with family systems to develop in-home proactive regulation plans (Modulation).
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