Also called secondary traumatic stress or vicarious trauma, secondary trauma can occur when a professional experiences stress or symptoms of trauma when working with traumatized children and families. The following resources address the challenges professionals face in these situations and ways to cope with secondary trauma.
Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress Among Child Welfare Staff: A Practice Brief (PDF - 146 KB)
ACS-NYU Children's Trauma Institute (2012)
Addresses occupational stress experienced by staff responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect and making decisions regarding child removal.
Beyond Quick Fixes: What Will it Really Take to Improve Child Welfare in America? Paper Two: Caseworkers Are First Responders. They Deserve the Same Professionalization as Other Essential Personnel (PDF - 323 KB)
Explores the current status of child protection services in the United States and proposes to address its challenges, emphasizing the importance of the child welfare caseworker and makes the case for further professionalization of caseworkers. Recommendations to elevate caseworkers to the status and comparable benefits of other first responders are made.
The Cost of Caring: Secondary Traumatic Stress and the Impact of Working With High-Risk Children and Families
Online training course designed to present an overview of secondary traumatic stress and teach child welfare workers approaches and strategies to decrease risk for developing trauma-related symptoms.
CW360°: A Comprehensive Look at a Prevalent Child Welfare Issue: Secondary Trauma and the Child Welfare Workforce (PDF - 2,386 KB)
University of Minnesota School of Social Work & Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (2012)
Discusses several issues related to secondary trauma and worker performance, provides information on best practices to address this issue, and offers perspectives and collaborations including references and resources.
Kansas Workforce Initiative Evidence Review: Secondary Traumatic Stress (PDF - 241 KB)
Kansas Workforce Initiative (2010)
Reports research findings on secondary traumatic stress in child welfare and social work and discusses practice implications.
Managing Stress as a Child Welfare Caseworker: Caseworker Readiness Activity (PDF - 502 KB)
Institute for Human Services & Ohio Child Welfare Training Program (2010)
Identifies and discusses factors that may cause and increase stress for caseworkers.
Planning for Emotional Labor and Secondary Traumatic Stress in Child Welfare Organizations (PDF - 250 KB)
Caringi, Lawson & Devlin
Journal of Family Strengths, Special Issue: Centennial of the Children's Bureau, 12(1), 2012
Provides an emergent framework that emphasizes early detection and quick response for secondary traumatic stress. Recommendations and guidelines to improve response and intervention are shared.
Promoting Resilience and Reducing Secondary Trauma Among Child Welfare Staff (PDF - 1116 KB)
ACS-NYU Children's Trauma Institute
Describes a project to mitigate the impact of secondary traumatic stress among child protective staff in New
York City, and thereby increase staff job satisfaction, resilience, optimism, self-care and social support, and decrease staff attrition, stress reactivity and burnout.
Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Among Child Welfare Workers Who Experience a Maltreatment Fatality on Their Caseload (PDF - 468 KB)
Douglas & Serino (2012)
Presents a factsheet that documents findings from a study whose purpose was to assess the knowledge, attitudes, practice concerns, and experiences with maltreatment fatalities as well as implications for post-traumatic stress symptoms among U.S. child welfare professionals.
Trauma-informed Care in Behavioral Health Services: A Treatment Improvement Protocol (PDF - 5,397 KB)
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (2014)
Provides best practice guidelines for the prevention and treatment of substance use and mental disorders. This TIP focuses on providing trauma-informed care in behavioral health services.