Creating a Trauma-Informed Community Through University-Community Partnerships:An Institute Agenda


  • John M. Keesler Indiana University
  • Susan A. Green University at Buffalo
  • Thomas H. Nochajski University at Buffalo



University-community partnerships, trauma, trauma-informed care


The impact of trauma on wellness has been identified as a community health crisis. The alliance of universities and communities is a plausible response to address the scope of the problem given their wealth of resources. The Institute on Trauma and Trauma-informed Care (ITTIC) is an exemplar of a university-community partnership and unique approach that has fostered a common language within and between organizations to foster at the community level an awareness and understanding of trauma. The present article provides an overview of university-community partnerships and their importance to social work practice. It describes the formation of the Institute and discusses its model and contributions to the local community and abroad. The implications of ITTIC for the School, University and community are discussed. An iterative process that includes active engagement, evaluation, and reflection, is recommended for the integration and advancement of trauma-informed care through university-community partnerships.

Author Biography

John M. Keesler, Indiana University

Assistant Professor

School of Social Work


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