Smiling young lady sat at a desk talking to a blurred woman slightly off camera. They are sat at a desk looking friendly and relaxed in a room with photos and windows.

1 December 2023

YMCA works with a diverse range of clients and service users, from all backgrounds, cultures, faiths and experiences. As such, it’s crucial that as a charity that supports individuals we adapt our way of working. In our commitment to provide holistic care for young people and their families, YMCA is taking steps towards becoming trauma-informed, to ensure every interaction with YMCA Black Country Group is as positive and transformative as possible.

What does it mean to be ‘trauma-informed’?

Being a trauma-informed organisation means recognising and understanding the widespread impact of trauma on individuals to shape policies, practices, and culture, to be sensitive and responsive to the needs of those who have experienced trauma.

As a starting point to change our culture, YMCA are establishing a team of ‘Trauma-Informed Champions,’ made up of individuals from across all departments to meet quarterly to ensure our trauma-informed approach integrates into every area of our work; this includes our paperwork, processes and even the look and feel of our environments.

Our progress so far

Our champions developed a strategic work plan, outlining priorities for the upcoming 12 months, the first phase  requiring new staff members undergo Trauma-Informed training as part of our corporate induction. The team are actively engaged in auditing our environments in line with Psychologically Informed guidance to create spaces that are not only welcoming and accessible, but also safe havens that foster trust and healing. Simultaneously, we are revisiting and refining our policies and procedures to align them with our trauma-informed ethos. Continuous professional development opportunities are being explored, ensuring that our dedicated staff stays abreast of the latest insights in Trauma-Informed Care.

Next steps

Our journey to becoming trauma-informed is continuous. We remain committed to adapting and changing with the needs of our service users, to create a nurturing and supportive environment that empowers young people to heal, grow, and thrive.