The biggest impact over the last year at YMCA Bedfordshire has been our move towards becoming a Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) service, incorporating Trauma Informed Care (TIC) and strengths based approaches.
We are passionate about preventing the revolving door of homelessness by working with residents in a psychologically informed way to reduce evictions, and have shifted focus from ‘needs & risk’ to ‘strengths & aspirations’. The trauma informed approach aims to improve the psychological and emotional well-being of people accessing our services – many with multiple and complex needs, to enable them to recover and lead fulfilling meaningful lives. Our honeycomb model of working also allows each person to progress via their own unique pathway.
Investment in targeted learning and development opportunities has supported staff across all levels to better understand the impact that trauma has on an individual and why behaviour happens. This understanding is bolstered by monthly reflective practice sessions that upskill staff and positively impact our new approach to delivery.
“It’s been an interesting journey for us as we reflect on the benefits and challenges of ‘elastic tolerance’ within our PIE strategy. PIE is an organic process involving a complete overhaul of policy, processes, paperwork and language to prevent re-traumatisation and help to build positive relationships in a ‘home’ environment that has benefited from interior design.” Caroline Barkham – Director of Housing.
“Since the lounge was redecorated, I have used it a lot more to relax and socialise with other residents. It has become a lot more welcoming to use on a day to day basis. Makes me feel more at home.” Katie – Weaver resident
At this relatively early stage of implementing changes, we have already seen a huge impact, including: reduction in evictions, reduction in vandalism, increased positive behaviour and overall a better living & working environment.