Embedding Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) and the Trauma Informed Care (TIC) principles in an organisation

Tuesday, 7 May 2019 - 10:11am

Pathway to Independence works with people who have experienced multiple disadvantage such as substance use, homelessness, mental health, exploitation and trauma.

As an organisation we identified that in order to properly address the needs of our service users and develop services that support people to build meaningful futures we had to move away from a traditional deficit-based approach to one that focussed on client strengths and positive outcomes.  In order to achieve this aim we made the radical decision to fully embrace, introduce and embed Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) and the Trauma Informed Care (TIC) model.  

As a small charity, we were realistic in our goals and knew that the introduction of PIE would be a mammoth task and a huge cultural change for the organisation, staff and clients.  We understood that establishing PIE would be a journey with no quick fixes and would involve us re-training staff, looking objectively at service delivery and completely overhauling our organisational policies and procedures. 

Although we understood the concepts and methodologies of PIE and TIC and had a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve, due to the size of the project we knew that expert advice and support was required and as such, enlisted the help of Homeless Link and their specialist consultancy team.

Following an initial meeting with the Consultancy Manager, we decided that working with Homeless Link was the way forward and a good fit for our organisation.  Homeless Link provided specialist training to our staff team empowering our workforce to understand the PIE/TIC ethos and its practical implementation, initiated consultation with staff on policy and procedure and worked with me to overhaul the organisations key policy and procedure. 

The overhaul process involved applying the 5 key concepts of PIE into a framework that allowed all polices to be reviewed in a truly person-centred and strengths-based approach. This approach ensured consistency whilst also allowing the nuances and individuality of Pathways to be a key part of the process.

The input of Homeless Link thus far has been essential in providing our organisation with a solid foundation on which lasting and significant change can be built upon and positive outcomes can be increased for those we support.  This has been an exciting project and it has been great to work alongside a specialist team of consultants.  Our journey towards creating a PIE environment is by no means finished and we are confident that its implementation will continue to grow and evolve over time. 

Homeless Link provides a Consultancy Service which offers a varied and wide range of support  including research, evaluating projects or services, reviewing policies and procedures, or advice around becoming financially resilient, etc. Each project is tailored to your needs and is as unique as each organisation Homeless Link works with. If you would like to find out more please contact Consultancy Manager Sophie Price sophie.price@homelesslink.org.uk.

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Lauren Appleby

Deputy Head of Services

Lauren Appleby is the Deputy Head of Services for Pathways to Independence – responsible for operational support, service development and the implementation of PIE and TIC.