Supporting Child Welfare Staff: The Critical First 3 Months

Supporting Child Welfare Staff: The Critical First Three Months

Child welfare staff often interact with people who have experienced trauma—in many cases, multiple traumas. Hearing the stories and seeing the effects of trauma on children and families, staff members have a very high risk of developing secondary traumatic stress (STS). They also are in a position to experience and witness trauma directly as they intervene in potentially volatile family situations. It is imperative that child welfare agencies take steps to prepare new staff for the challenging work ahead. This Digital Dialogue details organizational strategies for orienting new staff to a trauma-exposed work environment and supporting them during those critical first 3 months.