Crafting a Trauma-Informed Scope of Practice

Learn fundamentals of trauma-informed research and clarify your own values, roles, and responsibilities in your design and research practice.

Monday, May 6, 12–1:00 pm Pacific Time 
This session is FREE for EPIC Members during Learning & Networking Week

In design and research, we’re often under pressure to work efficiently and create change, often operating across a range of contexts. These demands can make it hard to dedicate enough time for reflecting on our capabilities and responsibilities with respect to the people and contexts we engage with. Gaining clarity on our values and practicing self-awareness is one way to strengthen our capabilities and build a trauma-informed design and research practice.

In this workshop, Rachael Dietkus, a trauma-informed social worker–designer, will explain what a trauma-informed scope of practice can look like in the context of design and research. Then Rachael will guide attendees through an exercise to help them clarify their roles and responsibilities within their discipline. You’ll walk away with a clearer sense of your scope, which will nurture the care and confidence necessary to carry out your work in responsible, trauma-informed ways. Practitioners from any discipline are welcome.


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Rachael Dietkus, a social worker-designer, specializes in integrating care, ethics, and trauma awareness into design, social work, and technology. Her design care approach emphasizes an ethic of care through responsibility, accountability, and possibility in these disciplines. Through her consultancy, Social Workers Who Design, she collaborates globally on design research, strategy, and training, prioritizing building trauma literacy in design. With nearly 25 years of experience, Rachael has contributed to social justice, human rights, and social change efforts in various sectors, including non-profits, academia, and government. She has also served as a UN delegate to the Human Rights Council. She is currently the first social worker at the U.S. Digital Service, a unique design and tech unit under the White House, where she focuses on trauma-informed design across agencies. She is a fellow with the RSA and the Social Work Futures Lab, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. You can read more about Rachael on LinkedIn or Social Workers Who Design.

Rachael Dietkus

Social Worker and Designer, Social Workers Who Design