Caring professionals all around the world enter into the hard things every day as they serve people. As experts in trauma-informed care, we understand the importance of showing up for people in a way that honors the hard things they have experienced and also acknowledges the growth and healing that are possible.

We have taught and advocated for trauma-informed approaches across various types of organizations, coaching and training individuals and bringing resources to thousands of people who help people who have been through hard things.

There are millions of people out there everyday living out the tenants of trauma-informed care in their organizations, and yet a problem still persists: How do we verify if an organization is really trauma-informed?  

That’s where Five Ives comes in.  

We want to give clients, donors, grantors, and potential employees an independently-verified seal to search for that would tell them that the organization they were interested in or were supporting is actually trauma-informed. That the organization operates with compassion, understanding both the impact of trauma on people and also the best ways to show up with grace and high expectations. 

We wanted to help organizations to 
  • understand how to establish trauma-informed practices across their entire organization and 
  • show the world that the work they are doing upholds trauma-informed best practices.   

This certification program is the culmination of more than two decades of combined experience in helping people, with both the academic, research-based principles and the practitioner-level of understanding based on our own personal service experiences.

 If you are a leader ready to learn and grow as a trauma-informed organization, we cannot wait to work with you! If you are someone researching nonprofits to support financially or with your time, know that this certification program can give you peace of mind that the organization with our seal is worth supporting.  

There are three levels of trauma-informed certification: 

  • Participant–this level is reserved for people who are doing the 12-month coaching program or are in the 18-month process for certification. They are working through an in-depth analysis of their practices in the key areas below and are receiving training for their entire staff. This seal tells donors that trauma-informed work is a priority for the organization and they are dedicating time and efforts toward implementing best practices. 
  • Verified–at the end of the 18-month program, a verified nonprofit is one that has completed the entire certification program curriculum and met the basic requirements for trauma-informed certification.  
  • Distinguished–this organization has completed the program with distinction, having highly qualified staff and many practices that go above and beyond the basic requirements for being a trauma-informed organization.  

We are grateful to work with people who are doing the hard work everyday and their compassionate care for others. 

Get the practical tools and resources you need to implement trauma-informed care at your organization. And give donors, grantmakers, and those you serve peace of mind that you are using trauma-informed best practices in your organization. 

Learn more through FAQs:

To become Five Ives Certified in Trauma-Informed Care, an organization needs to:

(1) Complete at least one full-day intensive training on trauma-informed care with Five Ives. Includes training on trauma impacts (brain, body, decisions, relationships, etc.), practical implementation guidelines for best practice, and how to make an organization holistically trauma-informed through a compassionate culture.

(2) Complete a 12-month leadership coaching program. The leader(s) of the organization are coached on key areas of trauma-informed implementation that will assist in the certification process.  Throughout this program, the leaders will be given step-by-step help for completing the certification requirements and practical coaching for how to become a trauma-informed organization, even in areas that aren’t traditionally talked about (e.g. how does the janitor help you have a compassionate organization?).  Training topics align with the categories for scoring on the trauma-informed certification rubric.

(3) Provide proof of trauma-informed practices and policies.  There is a 6-month period following the coaching program during which time the organization has time to submit all verification for their claims of trauma-informed practice.  A Five Ives representative must be able to step foot into the facilities and offices, if there are any. 

Organizations can be given extended time provided extenuating circumstances are present. Additional fees may be associated for extra coaching or verification needed for certification. If the organization has failed to meet the criteria for certification, they will not receive any refunds.

Organizations that receive a “Verified” or “Distinguished” seal may display the seal for three years provided no major changes take place within the organization. Every three years, they may re-apply for certification. The cost of recertification is $3,000 provided no major changes take place within the organization between certifications. At least every six years (and following major changes like leadership change or a new facility), a representative of Five Ives must visit the facility, which will require travel stipends.

It is our goal that every organization that helps people has the skills they need to do so with a trauma-informed lens. However, we also know that sometimes there is dysfunction or stress within an organization that makes it impossible to add any major tools--heck, it might be hard enough to get through the day without adding another thing to your agenda! We get you.

We meet organizations where they are within the Five Ives (the five stages of organizational growth and healing), and if you are in the survive or revive stage, we recommend our secondary trauma/burnout care services as a first step. Let us care for you and get your team ready for moving through the certification program.

The cost starts at $15,000 for our one-year coaching program, which results in our "participant" certification. The cost of the verification program (where we externally verify the work you are doing and give a seal of approval for trauma-informed work starts at $25,000. 

We see you! We understand having a small organization and not having the funds for this program today. Here are a few suggestions:

(1) We offer an online self-paced training to get started with trauma-informed training! This is an affordable option at $199/person.

(2) We also offer a full-day training intensive for $3,000 (for an online training, in-person options are $5,000+ travel expenses).

(3) You can apply for grants for trauma-informed care training! There are organizations in your area and even national groups that are passionate about trauma care and we would be happy to help as you are working through the grant application process if you need language or research on trauma care!

Contact us today to get started on the option best for your organization! 

Yes! If you have other like-minded groups that want to go through the certification process together, we would love to do a cohort-style program for you where you receive training and coaching as a group. We limit this to five organizations in one group to ensure you receive the personalized care you need to succeed at receiving certification. Contact us today to learn more about discounts available!