OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CONCERNING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE.
Among other things, peace officers responding to the scene of family violence incidents must immediately assist victims. This may include giving them contact information for a regional family violence organization that employs, or provides referrals to, counselors trained in providing “trauma-informed care. ” This bill expands the meaning of this term, defining it to include other characteristics these family violence organizations may possess.
The bill requires the Department of Public Health commissioner, within available appropriations and by June 30, 2012, to develop a televised public service announcement intended to prevent teen dating and family violence (see COMMENT). She may apply for grants to cover the costs of issuing the announcement.
The bill also makes a conforming change.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012
Currently, “trauma-informed care” means services directed by a thorough understanding of the neurological, biological, psychological, and social effects of trauma and violence on a person.
Expansion of Trauma-Informed Care Services
The bill retains the definition listed above and adds that the delivery of such care should be by an organization that:
1. routinely screens for trauma exposure and related symptoms;
2. uses culturally appropriate, evidence-based assessment and treatment for traumatic stress and associated mental health symptoms;
3. makes resources available to clients on trauma exposure, its impact, and treatment;
4. engages in efforts to strengthen the resilience and protective factors of children and families affected by and vulnerable to trauma;
5. addresses parent and caregiver trauma and its impact on the family system;
6. emphasizes continuity of care and collaboration across child-serving systems; and
7. maintains an environment of care for the staff that addresses, minimizes, and treats secondary traumatic stress.
Discretionary Organization Services
Under the bill, these organizations may also:
1. identify prevalence rates of types of trauma within their communities;
2. reach out to their communities to increase the availability and use of trauma services to children and families while decreasing barriers to care, making special efforts to reach diverse cultural groups who may be more vulnerable to trauma experiences;
3. infuse increased knowledge of traumatic stress into the organizational culture, practices, and policies;
4. use the best available science to facilitate and support resiliency and recovery;
5. engage in local and national advocacy and prevention efforts on behalf of children, adults, and families affected by trauma; and
6. maintain professional relationships with trauma programs and reports for referral and consultation.
Section 3 of the bill requires the DPH commissioner, by June 30, 2012, to develop a public service announcement (PSA) about teen dating and family violence. However, the bill does not go into effect until July 1, 2012, after the PSA deadline has passed.
Human Services Committee