Our clients are at center of what we do.
At Tahirih Justice Center, this philosophy is woven into all of our work. As Director of Legal and Social Services, I support a growing team that now serves over 1,000 courageous women and girls every year from offices in Baltimore, Greater DC, and Houston.
Our goal is to provide access to justice for every client who walks through our doors and to empower them as survivors.
Our services should enable clients to be supported in making informed decisions around their own paths to stable, violence-free futures for themselves and their family.
To be effective advocates, we must be trauma-informed — understanding the context and impact of trauma on our clients, minimizing retraumatization, building relationships of trust and mutual respect, and supporting healing and resiliency.
I am excited to introduce the results of the Trauma Informed Practices Scale (TIP), which we piloted in 2015 to measure how we are doing with our client-centered, trauma-informed, culturally-competent services. The TIP is a newly created evaluation tool by Cris Sullivan, PhD and Lisa Goodman PhD, in partnership with academics, advocates, survivors and national experts such as National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health.
The results are in, and I am pleased to share that TIP broadly confirmed the effectiveness of our approach, with an average score of 2.72 out of 3 across six trauma-informed practice areas.
Importantly, the survey also prompted reflection around potential areas of development, such as incorporating client feedback opportunities throughout the duration of service, exploring parenting support needs for clients with children, and creating opportunities for clients to connect with one another.
Our first TIP pilot concluded with a small sample size of 48 current and former clients across our three offices. We look forward to implementing the survey for a second year in 2016, to cross-compare data and evaluate the tool.
I hope you will take a moment to read the results. Thank you for your interest and your vital support.
All the best,
Director of Legal and Social Services