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Towards a trauma-informed social security system in the UK

Scullion, Lisa; Curchin, Katherine; Young, David; Martin, Philip; Hynes, Celia; Pardoe, Joe


Katherine Curchin

Celia Hynes

Joe Pardoe


Trauma-informed care (TIC) applies trauma theory to the design of social and health services, to promote client engagement and avoid inadvertently harming clients with trauma histories. Various services across the UK have been increasingly embracing TIC, with the Department for Work and Pensions recently expressing enthusiasm. We apply principles of TIC to qualitative data from a study of veterans’ experiences of the UK benefits system to identify ways of moving towards a trauma-informed social security system. Through this analysis we explore the potential benefits for claimants and staff, while also reflecting on some of the challenges of TIC within the context of a system with punitive features.


Scullion, L., Curchin, K., Young, D., Martin, P., Hynes, C., & Pardoe, J. (in press). Towards a trauma-informed social security system in the UK. Journal of Social Security Law,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 24, 2024
Deposit Date May 24, 2024
Print ISSN 1354-7747
Publisher Sweet and Maxwell
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed