Wellpoint Care Network Marks 15 Years of Trauma Informed Care Training
2023 marks 15 years that Wellpoint Care Network has been at the forefront of the Trauma Informed Care (TIC) movement.
“Sometimes, the training work that we’ve done feels like it’s been 15 years, sometimes it feels like it’s been 15 minutes,” said Ann Leinfelder Grove, President and CEO of Wellpoint Care Network. “The time has flown by, just based on the pace of change and the commitment to bring the information we aspire to share to the community.”
Initially, the training was developed as an internal tool to help manage the care of the people Wellpoint has served.
“I distinctly remember, maybe a year or so into us training staff, two things,” added Tim Grove, senior consultant at Wellpoint Care Network. “The first, was they were really getting the hang of it. What they latched onto initially was this idea that these pretty simple activities or strategies, what we now call ‘regulation activities,’ actually worked. They worked to quickly and effectively calm the child down in a crisis. And, the other piece that they were talking about seeing it work, was kids who have a potential to kind of rub them the wrong way or be frustrating to them, when they got kind of calm and relaxed, it opened up a different part of the child to the staff. And, staff would describe these amazing stories of doing an activity with a child, and then sitting down with them afterwards and having conversations they had never had before. So, that’s part one. Part two is they kept saying, ‘You know, we’re getting the hang of this. We’re starting to see some incident reduction. We’re starting to see these other sides to these children. But, the people who come into our building or the schools these kids go to, I think they could benefit from this information as well.’ So, it was really staff’s push in many ways that got us out there to go to those schools, go to those court systems, go to those providers and say, ‘Hey, we think we’re onto something. Are you willing to spend a couple of hours or a half day hearing what we think we’re onto?’”
Since then, Wellpoint Care Network’s TIC training has been shared in hospitals and health systems, within law enforcement groups, teachers, community-based organizations, food pantries, librarians, homeless shelters, bus drivers, and many more.
In fact, 75,000 people have learned about Wellpoint’s Trauma Informed Care (TIC) approach and the Seven Essential Ingredients (7ei).
“It’s really kind of humbling that from those beginnings, more and more people kept saying, ‘Sign me up, sign me up, sign me up!’” said Grove. “15 years and 75,000 people later, that’s pretty cool.”
“And, a lot of that was supported in a number of different ways by community philanthropists, by all those organizations that dedicated a day or a half day, and sometimes some resources, to have their folks trained. We’ve never done a good job of fully trying to capture the spread. Our 75,000 number, there are probably at least 20 other people who have a number of their own. And today, when I hear how people talk, when you look at popular movies and TV shows, when you read articles in the newspaper, the language being used, the stories being told, many of them echo this theme of adversity, resilience, trauma, etc. To whatever degree, we were a part of that. That sort of takes that 75,000 number, and I don’t know what the multiplier is, but it’s exponential.”
To mark the 15th anniversary of training, Wellpoint Care Network is offering a wide array of classes with experienced trainers and consultants.
“Experience and sophistication matter,” said Grove. “People who have had time and repetition, not just on the conceptual side of this, but taking those concepts and ideas and working with our staff and our program leaders to differentiate, ‘What works about these ideas and what is just conceptual fluff that really has no relevance in the field of practice.’ There has been 15 years of this beautiful back-and-forth with those staff and program leaders to refine, to distill, to try out and discard the stuff that was maybe conceptual fluff and really winnow and sift to the essence of what works in practice. It’s one thing to have a few years of that sort of process, but to have 15 years of constantly testing and evaluating whether or not this works, not just conceptually but in practice, is pretty powerful.”
“There’s a difference between book smarts and rich experience that’s influenced by academic learning, research and science,” added Leinfelder Grove. “And, it’s the marrying of those two important things, knowing what the science teaches us and then having practiced it many, many years in time, that creates the ‘Why Wellpoint?’ There’s credibility in having implemented this model in practice.”
If you are interested in learning more about Wellpoint Care Network’s upcoming trainings and consultations, click here.