Taking a trauma informed care approach has demonstrated positive outcomes for services for people in the general population. Given the increased vulnerability to psychological trauma for adults with an intellectual disability, this study explores what residential staff know about trauma and trauma informed care.
Thirty-two staffs representing three staff groups: direct care staff; managers; and specialist practitioners, were interviewed using semi-structured interviews, which were analysed following a structured framework.
Each staff group held different perspectives in their knowledge of trauma and trauma informed care. Limitations were noted in staffs’ knowledge of trauma, implementation of evidence-based supports, and access to specialist services for adults with an intellectual disability. All participants highlighted their training needs regarding trauma.
Increased training on recognising and responding to trauma is needed among community staff supporting those with a trauma history if organisations are to move towards trauma informed care.