I am trying to find out about any recognized certification for trauma "specialist". I have been asked repeatedly if I am "certified" but I don't know what that means in this field right now. I find certificates for professional areas (therapists, doctors) but only one for those of us who work with traumatized people (Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists). Any one can claim they have a certificate, or grant a certificate, but there is no oversight that I can see.  New field!  Old issues?  What is ACESConnection doing?  Who is attending to this?

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Jo Dee Davis posted:

I am trying to find out about any recognized certification for trauma "specialist". I have been asked repeatedly if I am "certified" but I don't know what that means in this field right now. I find certificates for professional areas (therapists, doctors) but only one for those of us who work with traumatized people (Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists). Any one can claim they have a certificate, or grant a certificate, but there is no oversight that I can see.  New field!  Old issues?  What is ACESConnection doing?  Who is attending to this?

We have been using SAMHSA's Trauma Informed Approach: Key Principles and Assumptions Course since 2015 and have trained over 1,500 professionals in East TN.  In June 2016 we started forming a Trauma Informed System of Care that now include our Children's Hospital, St. Jude's Research Clinic, Police Department, Public Schools, Public Library, three departments at East TN State University, Family Justice Center, Boys & Girls Club, Safe Families, Frontier Health and more.  With this course, that was provided to us by Dr. Joan Gillece, Director of SAMHSA's National Center of Trauma Informed Care, we not only are training the community about ACEs and becoming Trauma-Informed but this course provides a "self-inventory" of sorts to lead agencies through as they implement these practices.  I wondered how to get "certified" and ask Dr. Gillece who said once they sent us the course to consider ourselves trained!  We have such a great demand for this training we now created a "Trainer version" and have taught it twice so we have 79 professionals who can do the training now within their own organizations.  Since we do all this with no (or a minuscule) budget (I direct Crime Prevention Programs for the Johnson City Police Department and partner with Dr. Andi Clements who is a tenured psychology professor at ETSU) we have found this is a very practical approach...and better yet it seems to be working!  I was selected last March in a national search of the SAMHSA Gains Center to find and equip trainer on their new course, "Trauma Informed Education Improving Criminal Justice Outcomes."  My certification for this two-day training in Albany consists of a certificate hanging on my wall but I am listed with SAMHSA as only 12 individuals in the state of TN trained on this material.  We have found such an openness in our community for the message as we now are training our city leaders, physicians, mental health professionals and no one seems to ask about "certification" because they are so engaged the movement!  If I can help in any way you can contact me at bhaas@johnsoncitytn.org  We have someone coming in October from Nashville who posted on ACEs that "we know about trauma and ACEs but who out there know's how to make it work in your systems?"  I replied along with 43 others and he and I have now connected and he's coming here for training to take it back to Nashville and create a Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice System.  

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