Many cities across the country experience high rates of violence and civil unrest related to police brutality. Trauma-informed policies and programs that foster community resilience have the potential to reduce the impact of such violence, but organizations that use these types of policies and programs need more information about how and whether their work contributes to community resilience.

To advance knowledge of effective strategies to promote community resilience, EDC led an evaluation of the Chicago Resiliency in Communities after Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) program. Working closely with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and other city partners, EDC tracked ReCAST’s impact on improved behavioral health, reductions in trauma, and community change.

Key Activities

EDC collaborated with CDPH and community members to carry out the following activities:

  • Develop measures and identify indicators of community resilience
  • Create resiliency maps that reveal the intensity of adverse experiences and/or healing by Chicago neighborhoods
  • Train and work with community ambassadors—civic leaders—to measure their neighbors’ perceptions of community resilience
  • Analyze how connections between community-based organizations (CBO) and CDPH influence outcomes
  • Conduct a citywide follow-up survey of CBO staff trained in trauma-informed practices to find out whether they are applying lessons learned
  • Determine use of Chicago Connects, a comprehensive mental health resource directory with a crisis text line


Findings from the evaluation provided:

  • New insights into how trauma-informed approaches can foster community resilience
  • Guidance that cities nationwide can use to address trauma, racial injustice, and health inequities
  • Tools that other evaluators can use to examine the outcomes of place-based initiatives that seek to foster community-based resilience

Learn More

EDC Staff
Dominica McBride
Chicago Department of Public Health Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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