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Issues, challenges and opportunities for trauma-informed practice

Senker, Sarah; Eason, Anne; pawson, Chris; McCartan, Kieran


Sarah Senker

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Anne Eason
Associate Director (Policing)

Chris Pawson
Associate Professor in Applied Psychology and Behavioural Science

Kieran McCartan
Professor in Sociology and Criminology


This report was kindly produced by Dr Sarah Senker, Dr Anne Eason, Dr Chris Pawson and Professor Kieran McCartan, building upon previous Academic Insights papers and highlighting some of the key issues, challenges and opportunities for trauma-informed practices. Ten critical questions are presented, including whether we know how to identify good trauma-informed work and measure positive outcomes, whether the criminal justice system and settings are conducive to trauma-informed approaches, and whether the wider community is supportive of these efforts and approaches. As is set out, trauma-informed work requires organisational support and leadership buy-in, promoting an environment that is supportive of the care and compassion required to deliver and sustain the therapeutic nature of the practice. In terms of the wider discourse, a considered and evidence-based approach is required which frames the conversation in an accessible, nuanced and non-emotive way, recognising that addressing past trauma can help to reduce reoffending and protect the public. Such conversations would be helped through further strengthening of the evidence base, with practice continually refined in line with the most recent and robust evidence.


Senker, S., Eason, A., pawson, C., & McCartan, K. (2023). Issues, challenges and opportunities for trauma-informed practice. HMI Probation

Report Type Discussion Paper
Acceptance Date Sep 1, 2023
Publication Date Dec 19, 2023
Deposit Date Sep 10, 2023
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