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Trauma-Informed System of Care

The vision of the Trauma-Informed System of Care (TISOC) is “Colorado’s children with behavioral health challenges will reach their full potential through effective and efficient services and supports.” TISOC seeks to implement in Colorado a trauma-informed child and family service system. 

As defined by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, such a system involves parties who recognize and respond to the impact of traumatic stress on those who have contact with the system including children, caregivers, and service providers. Programs and agencies within the aforementioned system infuse and sustain trauma awareness, knowledge, and skills into their organizational cultures, practices, and policies. They act in collaboration with all those who are involved with the child, using the best available science, to facilitate and support the recovery and resiliency of the child and family.  

Building on the Collaborative Management Program (CMP) structure, the Trauma-Informed System of Care involves the public mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, and education systems. The goals of the Trauma-Informed System of Care are implemented in Colorado through a cohort community based model, Communities of Excellence, that allows cohorts of communities to plan and implement Trauma-Informed System of Care together while also identifying possible local adaptions for the base Trauma-Informed System of Care services and supports. 

Communities of Excellence
Currently, the Trauma-Informed System of Care supports 16 Communities of Excellence in 20 counties throughout the state. Future Trauma-Informed System of Care expansions will continue in the remaining CMP counties. A statewide goal for the Trauma-Informed System of Care is to develop a sustainable infrastructure to coordinate and pay for services for families of children and youth with complex needs, many of whom are involved with child welfare. 

Each Community of Excellence receives funding to support wraparound facilitators, family advocates, infrastructure development, and flexible services for families. Currently the 16 communities have 18 trained wraparound facilitators and 13 family advocates working with families. Based on the recommendations of a meta-analysis of Colorado reports and evidence from other states, Colorado is piloting the wraparound model through the care management entity (CME) in El Paso County.  A CME is a centralized organization that blends funding, organizes  services and supports, and serves as a locus of accountability across agencies. 

Trauma-Informed System of Care is supported by a cooperative agreement between CDHS and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and is administered by the Office of Behavioral Health in partnership with the Office of Children, Youth and Families.