Title

Agency Level Interventions for Preventing and Treating Vicarious Trauma: A Qualitative Study

Department

Social Work

Date of Paper/Work

2012

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper

Advisors

Kendra Garrett

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore what types of strategies agencies are using to prevent and/or reduce vicarious trauma. To do this, five qualitative interviews were conducted with participants who work directly with individuals who have survived trauma. The findings showed mixed results, as some agencies employed multiple strategies, while others employed few. Agencies seemed to provide adequate benefits and training to employees, and to also encourage them to engage in self-care. While most agencies required supervision/consultation, only one agency encouraged staff members to discuss how they are being impacted by their clients’ trauma. Agencies also did little to manage caseload sizes, as only two participants said that their agencies work to be mindful of the number of trauma cases each staff member has on their caseload. While employees should be held accountable to taking an individual stance in preventing vicarious trauma, agencies also need to make conscious efforts to ensure that staff members are receiving adequate supervision/consultation, training, and benefits, and that they are also being encouraged to engage in self-care. If agencies do not provide adequate support to their employees, the wellbeing and work of their employees, as well as the care of their clients, could be jeopardized.

Keywords

vicarious trauma, agency interventions, prevention, treatment

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.