Implementing Trauma-Informed Research-Supported Treatment: Fidelity, Feasibility, and Acceptability

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Evidence indicates the importance of integrating treatment of co-occurring traumatic stress and substance use disorders in adolescent populations. However, the effectiveness of trauma-informed research-supported treatments (TI-RSTs) depends on program fidelity, feasibility, and acceptability. This study assessed perceived fidelity, feasibility, and acceptability of two TI-RSTs, The Sanctuary Model and Seeking Safety, at one residential adolescent substance misuse treatment agency. Perceived fidelity was examined two years into implementation while feasibility and acceptability were examined over time from early in the implementation process (n = 25), to 1 year later (n = 31), and to 2 years later (n = 23) through a series of staff interviews. Findings suggest that implementation of The Sanctuary Model and Seeking Safety at adolescent residential substance misuse treatment agencies can be conducted with fidelity and is feasible and acceptable. However, findings indicate that not all TI-RSTs are responded to in the same way. Furthermore, findings suggest that additional efforts might be necessary to ensure improved and long-term feasibility and acceptability, and consequently, the success of the implementation of TI-RSTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-113
Number of pages13
JournalChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Adolescents
  • Residential treatment
  • Substance use disorder
  • Trauma-informed research-supported treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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