Wellpoint Care Network Prioritizes Trauma Informed Care
2023 marks 15 years that Wellpoint Care Network has been at the forefront of the Trauma Informed Care (TIC) movement.
During that time, more than 75,000 people have learned about our approach and the Seven Essential Ingredients (7ei).
That number includes members of the community, as well as all Wellpoint Care staff members.
“I think it’s made a big difference in how I look at child welfare and how I look at the kids and families that we serve,” said Justin Hughes, Foster Care Placement and Caregiver Coordinator. “When I was working with the children in residential when I first came to Wellpoint Care, I had no prior experience in what Trauma Informed Care was; I had no idea what it meant. Taking the perspective shift of not ‘what’s wrong with you,’ but ‘what’s happened to you,’ was very enlightening. It takes time to switch that perspective, especially in the moment when you’re dealing with what you’re dealing with. But, it’s important to delve deeper into that kid’s history and find the underlying reason on why they behave the way they behave.”
Many Wellpoint Care staff members say the Trauma Informed Care model is pivotal when working directly with kids, teens or families.
“I think that approaching things from a trauma-informed perspective gives us a really great baseline with which we all can work from,” said William Olivier, Child Welfare Supervisor. “And, I believe that no matter what your educational background, having that baseline makes us better practitioners. We make better decisions in the field. We begin to act in the best interest of the child, not in the best interest of ourselves or of the organization. I think that it just really helps us to keep in perspective what’s most important.”
“It’s really important for me and my coworkers and everyone at Wellpoint Care to understand trauma and the impact it has on the brain,” added Courtney Duzynski, Treatment Foster Care Specialist. “Because then I go to my foster parents and then I’m relaying the information to them. This world is so traumatized right now. There’s so much happening, so much going on. The more people that understand trauma, how it impacts the brain and how we can interact with one another to regulate is so important. I think Wellpoint Care does a great job of educating on trauma and really promoting that. And, then I can do a good job talking to my foster parents, talking to the school. When I first started at Wellpoint Care, I was so impressed that everyone got trained in TIC and the 7eis. That’s pivotal to make changes and to really support our communities and our kids.”
Whether new or tenured, Wellpoint Care staff share that continued investment in TIC training is a key factor in choosing where they work.
“It is really great to work for an organization that has such a such a unified stance on one thing,” said Olivier. “To know that Wellpoint Care has such a strong sense of working in a trauma-informed way, that’s comforting. I don’t want to say it makes my job easier, but it lets me know that that we’re speaking the same language on some level. Having worked in social services and child welfare in this community for several decades, that’s not something that I’ve experienced.”
“For being a small organization, it’s really nice that they can find the funding to be able to train us,” added Duzynski. “I think we do a great job training our foster parents on trauma. It’s not the only reason I stay at Wellpoint Care, but it is definitely a perk.”
“When I came back to Wellpoint Care, the first thing that I said is that I felt like I was coming back home,” added Hughes. “I felt like this is where I belonged. When I left for about a year, nothing felt the same. It didn’t feel authentic to me.”
Because of its proven success, training around Trauma Informed Care and the Seven Essential Ingredients shows no sign of slowing down.
“There are always new people to teach the principles of Trauma Informed Care,” said Ann Leinfelder Grove, President and CEO of Wellpoint Care Network. “There are tenured people who need to be refreshed or reminded. And, the diligent attention to that helps create the work that we do in the community to be more valuable, more authentic and likely more transformative.”
If you are interested in learning more about Wellpoint Care Network’s upcoming trainings and consultations, click here.
For a list of job openings, click here.