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.
Organizational Supports for Child Welfare Social Workers Experiencing Secondary Traumatic Stress (PDF - 2,406 KB)
California State University
Presents the findings of a study to identify what agency support and resources are available to child welfare social workers who experience secondary traumatic stress. This study utilized a qualitative research approach. The study concludes with implications for social work policy and practice.
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.
Secondary Trauma and Child Welfare Staff: Guidance for Supervisors and Administrators (PDF - 785 KB)
National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) (2016)
Provides information on how secondary traumatic stress (STS) manifests, child welfare staff who are at risk for STS, and strategies for prevention of and intervention for STS. The tip sheet lists STS assessment tools and offers recommendations for professional development efforts that focus on building skills associated with resilience.
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.