This page emphasizes the importance of supporting child welfare professionals as they maintain the health and wellness of the environments in which they work. Well-being is not only important for the individual but also for the workplace. Child welfare workers are at risk of experiencing burnout, compassion fatigue, and secondary traumatic stress due the scope and severity of the work. Agencies and organizations must be proactive to evaluate organizational wellness and implement policies and programs to enhance employee well-being.
- Safety of the workforce
- Job satisfaction of the workforce
- Self-care of the workforce
- Burnout, compassion fatigue, and secondary traumatic stress
- Improving retention
The Importance of Building Psychological Safety Among Staff and Stakeholders
National Implementation Research Network & Jordan Institute for Families (2021)
Describe the importance of psychological safety and promoting a culture of safety among child welfare professionals.
Moral Injury and Healing in Child Welfare
University of Minnesota
A course that helps participants develop an understanding of moral injury. This free, self-paced course is divided into five learning modules on moral injury and healing and is intended for mental health, addiction, social work, and child welfare professionals.
Positive Psychology and Well-Being of Child Welfare Workers: Three Part Series [Video]
Krentzman & Tinetti (2016)
Center for Advanced Child Welfare Studies
Trains child welfare workers on understanding and implementing strategies to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue through a three-part well-being video series. Module 1 focuses on the problems, prevalence, and possible solutions, including compassion satisfaction and positive psychology, for burnout and compassion fatigue. Module 2 focuses on individual, research-informed strategies that can be implemented in a worker’s daily life to increase well-being. Module 3 focuses on how workers and supervisors can best influence the well-being of others in the work place mentally and emotionally.
Professional Quality of Life Measure: ProQOL.org
ProQOL Office of the Center for Victims of Torture (2019)
Provides theory, information, tools, and presentation aids on burnout, secondary trauma, and compassion fatigue. Particularly notable is the free ProQOL Scale (PDF - 268 KB) and tools that can be self-administered or used during a training or staff meeting to measure the normal positive and negative effects of helping others, categorized into compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress scales. The scale is available in 26 different languages.
Supporting Child Welfare Staff: The Critical First Three Months [Webinar]
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau & Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center (2018)
Reviews the importance of the first 3 months of employment for child welfare workers, with a focus on agencies highlighting what secondary traumatic stress (STS) is to new workers and reducing organizational stressors to reduce turnover. The webinar walks through infusing information and support related to STS into each phase of employment, including hiring, orientation, training, the first few months, and beyond.
Workforce Resource: One-Page Summary - A Holistic Framework for Child Welfare Worker Well-Being (PDF - 362 KB)
National Child Welfare Workforce Institute
Identifies three areas that make up professional's well-being and how leaders within child welfare organizations can strategically and comprehensively support these areas to prioritize caseworker well-being.