My work recently sent me and a hundred or so other colleagues to a day-long conference on trauma-informed care (TIC), to be presented by two bigwigs in the field who have implemented this approach at their agency in Washington, D.C. What is TIC, you ask? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like, because social science researchers are not very creative when it comes to naming treatment modalities or theories. It’s essentially a no-brainer for a room full of social workers aggravated at being pulled away from work for an entire day and forced to wear name tags with smiley faces: simply put, TIC is a framework for understanding poverty, homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, and so forth. At the center of many of the above problems is a history of abuse, violence, and rape; therefore, it makes sense to provide services using that lens.
Archive for March, 2009
Bad news first:
I went to the beauty school to get my hair cut (because I’m too cheap to pay over $15 for someone to trim my hair, even though the results are decidedly uneven). The young apprentice assigned to me went through the motions of small talk, asking me questions like, “Do you go to U of M?” and “Do you have a boyfriend?” (hrrrm). I told her I was a social worker and she said, “I’m not exactly sure what that is.”
“I’ll tell you what it is,” said the floor supervisor, who was watching over her shoulder. “Social workers are nosy. They come into your house and tell your mom to do this and do that, and threaten to take the kids away if she doesn’t. They have to write these reports on how you’re doing and they ask you a ton of questions about your life that are really personal, like whether you’re being touched and how you’re doing in school.”