Grantee Spotlight from Michigan

Creating Trauma-Informed Environments in Michigan


The RHNTC does a tremendous job creating comprehensive Title X resources along with providing valuable opportunities for skill development. MDHHS feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in a process that ensures that agency policies, protocols, and practices can reflect an awareness of the prevalence and impact of trauma on our agencies and among the diverse populations in need of reproductive health care.
Darin McMillan, Consultant at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Trauma-informed care (TIC) is a growing focus for Title X agencies seeking to create supportive environments for staff and provide quality care to clients. But it can be tricky for agencies to navigate this important and challenging work on their own. 

Recognizing the need for support, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ (MDHHS) Reproductive Unit invited TIC expert Dr. Sheela Raja to the September 2022 Michigan Family Planning Update, where she spoke to the 32 Michigan Title X subrecipients about stress, resiliency, and recovery. In December 2022, MDHHS began working with the RHNTC and Dr. Raja to assess where subrecipients are in the process of becoming trauma-informed organizations and determine how they can progress along on this journey. 

This month, the team is piloting an assessment tool designed to help agencies identify where they are on the continuum from trauma-aware to trauma-informed. The assessment considers ten core areas: physical environment; engagement and involvement; cross-sector collaboration; screening, assessment, and treatment services; training and workforce development; progress monitoring, quality improvement, and quality assurance; financing; and evaluation.

Trauma graphic for Michigan grantee from trauma-aware to trauma-informed

MDHHS will use the assessment results to provide tailored TIC support to their subrecipients via a webinar, office hours, one-on-one technical assistance, and other education. Additionally, assessment results will help MDHHS create a TIC policy template that local agencies can use.

For other Title X agencies looking to become more trauma-informed, check out the RHNTC’s Providing Trauma-Informed Care in Family Planning Clinics Webinar (recording) and Tips for Using a Trauma-Informed Lens to Develop or Select I&E Materials Job Aid. Youth-serving organizations can also watch the Understanding Trauma & The Six Core Principles of a Trauma-Informed Approach Video, which provides a helpful overview of TIC and adolescent health. For additional support understanding and implementing TIC, reach out to your grantee liaison about technical assistance.