Tools for Transformation: Becoming Accessible, Culturally Responsive, and Trauma-Informed Organizations — An Organizational Reflection Toolkit


Tools for Transformation is a toolkit for organizations serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence (DSV) and their children, designed to support organizations’ efforts to become more accessible, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed (ACRTI). NCDVTMH’s framework for developing ACRTI services and organizations draws from many perspectives: the voices and experiences of survivors, advocates, and clinicians; the insights of social and political movements; and a growing body of research on child development and neurobiology. The core principles of ACRTI work provide a foundation for creating services that are welcoming and inclusive, attuned to the range of people’s experiences, and relevant to the people and communities we serve.

Initially developed in 2012 as a way to bridge trauma-informed and advocacy perspectives, this approach is grounded in domestic and sexual violence advocacy; incorporates an understanding of trauma and its effects; creates accessible environments for healing; recognizes the centrality of culture; attends to the well-being of staff, organizations, and communities; and is committed to social justice and human rights. The revised 2018 version includes expanded sections on accessibility, cultural responsiveness and inclusion, and collaboration with community partners such as health, mental health, substance use treatment, peer support, child welfare, and other child- and family-serving systems and agencies.


For more than a decade, the Core Curriculum on Creating Accessible, Culturally Responsive, and Trauma-Informed (ACRTI) Services has been a cornerstone of NCDVTMH’s work. Over the years, we have partnered with programs and coalitions nationwide to build capacity and to integrate the ACRTI philosophy into both service provision and organizational culture. In 2021, we debuted a revised version of this well-received and widely used Core Curriculum, updated based on experiences of survivors, advocates, trainers, and leaders in the field. The full curriculum—including presentations, video trainings, and written materials—is available for download here.

Our accompanying 2021-2022 webinar series explores the enhanced capacity-building resources in the revised Core Curriculum and provides insight from staff who have utilized these tools in the field.


Name Type File/Link
Name: Tools for Transformation - Organizational Reflection Toolkit [PDF, 5.9MB] Type: File File/Link:
Name: Tools for Transformation Implementation Support Guide 1: The Social, Emotional, and Relational Climate and Organizational Trauma Type: File File/Link:
Name: Tools for Transformation Implementation Support Guide 2: Supporting Change Leadership Type: File File/Link:
Name: Creating Trauma-Informed Services and Organizations: An Integrated Approach Type: File File/Link: