Safety is a Cornerstone of Trauma-Informed Care

January 12, 2023
Blocks come together to form a checkmark.

DCYF recently launched an agencywide effort to grow trauma-informed practices. In Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR), we know that to have effective trauma-informed environments for the young people in our care, we must establish predictability and reliability, the cornerstone of which is safety.

JR is getting back to the basics of safety and security with routine searches, welfare checks on young people in their rooms, and ensuring contraband cannot enter facilities.

“Our mission balances public safety and rehabilitation,” said JR Assistant Secretary Felice Upton. “One cannot be done well without the other. This is especially critical in the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic.”   

Upton recently issued an interim directive reinforcing existing requirements for youth and staff safety and clearly outlining new ones to ensure safer environments within both JR and the greater communities of Washington State.

“Going back to basics with regard to safety and security across our system is imperative,” said Upton. “Reliability and predictability are fundamental to a therapeutic environment. Routine and thorough safety and security procedures are a cornerstone to creating these environments and we each have to do our part.”