Proven Strategies: Addressing Secondary Trauma in Child Welfare Professionals
Secondary trauma in child welfare professionals is at a crisis stage. To help address the crisis, RedMane’s Nicole Fuller facilitated a panel discussion with academics and leading practitioners. A description of the session follows.
The slide show shared during the session is available here.
In support of the critical work child welfare professionals do every day, more attention needs to be on: “How are you addressing your self-care needs to build resiliency as you experience incidences of secondary trauma?”
This panel session with child welfare practitioners and academics focused on the impact of secondary trauma on frontline child welfare staff, as well as intervention models to build resiliency. Panelists discussed secondary trauma and shared perspectives regarding:
- How do child welfare agencies respond to critical incidents and support secondary trauma that staff experience?
- How do child welfare agencies support secondary trauma experiences differently for various staff within the organization?
- What are the leading approaches for building resiliency in staff and how have those approaches impacted their reaction to secondary trauma?
The experts for this session included:
- Phil Breitenbucher, MSW, Ed.D. – As an Assistant Professor of Social Work at California Baptist University, Phil researches and lectures on secondary and vicarious trauma in human services. Formerly, a director for the Center for Children and Family Futures, Phil worked closely with child welfare agencies, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on substance abuse, mental health, and trauma issues. Phil is a frequent speaker at local, state and national child welfare conferences.
- Amy Davidson, MSW, LISW-S – Amy is the Deputy Executive Director, Social Services at Summit County Children Services in Akron, Ohio. She has been leading her agency in implementing CoachOhio, an intervention and research project focused on utilizing supportive coaching and building resiliency skills towards helping caseworkers with coping and secondary trauma. Amy started as a caseworker and now is instrumental in driving key agency efforts, including team decision making meetings, differential response, human trafficking, family interaction, and continuous quality improvement. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social work and a Master of Social Work from the University of Akron.
- Judy Shine, MSW, RSW – With over 20 years of experience in child welfare in front-line, supervisory and management roles, Judy is a recognized leader in strengths-based trauma-informed practice, continuous improvement in child intervention, and collaborative leadership. She is currently an Associate Director with Edmonton Region Children Services in Alberta, Canada. Judy is also a sessional instructor with the University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in social work at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland and her Master of Social Work at the University of Toronto.
- Deanna Nichols-Stika – Since 2013, Deanna has served as the Executive Director of Children Services for Wayne County, Ohio. The agency, in partnership with the community, exists to protect abused and neglected children and to strengthen, preserve, and empower families. Prior to her executive director appointment, Deanna was the Accreditation Coordinator for the National Children’s Alliance and the Executive Director for Wayne County Children’s Advocacy Center.
- Amy Story, MBA – Amy is the Assistant Director, Strategic Operations Support at Hamilton County Job and Family Services in Ohio. She joined the Hamilton County Job and Family Services in 1990 and has served in a series of leadership positions in quality assurance, children’s services program support and child care. Amy is a graduate of Wilmington College and has a Master of Business Administration from Thomas More College. She has tremendous knowledge of child and family programs, services, and how to automate business practices to create casework efficiencies that drive better outcomes.
RedMane Technology provides software solutions and systems integration services that address complex, real-world challenges. RedMane’s human services expertise includes child welfare, child support, eligibility, and case management. RedMane is a problem-solving company. Technology is just one of its tools.
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