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Building a Multi-System Trauma-Informed Collaborative: A Guide for Adopting a Cross-System, Trauma-Informed Approach Among Child-Serving Agencies and Their Partners

NCJ Number
Date Published
85 pages

This guide presents a framework for system-level and cross-system strategic planning and implementation processes that support and facilitate trauma-informed systems change that will enable child-serving agencies and their partners to provide a multifaceted, multidisciplinary battery of evidence-based services for children and youth who have suffered trauma underlying their problem behaviors.


In 2010, the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) supported the first federally sponsored efforts to bring together child-serving system partners to develop strategic plans designed to serve youth and families at risk for or impacted by violence and other adverse childhood experiences. Starting as a series of city, county, and Tribal demonstration projects and later as state-level initiatives, these awards provided training and technical assistance to senior policymakers and other partners during their strategic planning and implementation periods. The current guide summarizes what was learned during their engagements with the most recent cohort of state-level teams. The envisioned multi-system trauma-informed collaborative (MSTIC) has the following four goals: 1) To increase the capacity of state child-serving systems to collaborate in identifying, screening, assessing, and treating youth exposed to violence; 2) To apply culturally competent, family-focused approaches and increase knowledge of evidence-based policies, practices, and programs to improve service provision; 3) To improve the ability of state systems in identifying, implementing, and monitoring impacts of effective trauma-informed strategies to improve outcomes; and 4) To improve the capacity of systems to blend funding streams to sustain implementation of evidence-based, trauma-informed practices. The current guide offers a framework for achieving these goals. It promotes a staged process for launching a multi-system trauma-informed collaborative and support for the adoption of a cross-sector trauma-informed approach. 5 figures, 74 references, and appended action plans and samples

Date Published: January 1, 2019