Social Work

Date of Paper/Work

Spring 5-2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Type of Paper/Work

Banded Dissertation


Catherine Marrs Fuchsel


This Banded Dissertation consists of three products emphasizing the need for trauma-informed knowledge to be incorporated into interdisciplinary social service baccalaureate curriculum. A combined person-in-environment and trauma-informed perspective is utilized as the framework to guide understanding of the interwoven impact bachelor’s-level social service professionals and trauma survivors experience within collaborative multidisciplinary system-of-care environments. Awareness is presented through a conceptual analysis, a qualitative exploratory study, and a professional presentation.

Product one: a conceptual analysis calls attention to the need for incorporation of trauma-informed understanding within interdisciplinary baccalaureate education to decrease indirect trauma symptoms in bachelor’s-level professionals. Findings demonstrate that bachelor’s-level social service professionals are routinely exposed to a range of traumatic client experiences which can lead to their experiencing indirect traumatic symptoms. Future consideration is given to explicit incorporation of two social work training tools within interdisciplinary baccalaureate curriculum to build trauma proficiency.

Product two: a qualitative exploratory study was conducted utilizing semi-structured interviews with bachelor’s-level professionals serving in a multitude of positions within highly trauma exposed system-of-care environments in the state of Florida. Person-in-environment and trauma-informed perspectives were utilized as the combined conceptual framework guiding this work. Responses were analyzed to represent participants’ need of trauma-knowledgeable skills. Results showed that participants lack a basic trauma-informed foundation to use as a resource when interacting with trauma survivors.

Product three: a professional poster presentation calling social work educators to take the lead in incorporation of trauma-informed knowledge from an interdisciplinary perspective within baccalaureate curriculum. Person-in-environment and trauma-informed perspectives are utilized as a combined conceptual framework. This presentation argued for inclusion of trauma-informed knowledge portraying interdisciplinary collaboration with other high trauma exposed disciplines within baccalaureate curriculum. Trauma-informed understanding would guide bachelor’s-level professionals interested in pursuing social service positions in high trauma environments following graduation.

This Banded Dissertation emphasizes the necessity for explicit interdisciplinary trauma-informed baccalaureate curriculum providing a foundation for professional reference when working in trauma environments. Such a curriculum is urged to be adapted from a social work perspective as trauma-informed practice aligns with core social work values to promote social justice for oppressed and vulnerable populations. Interdisciplinary curriculum integration would mimic real world multidisciplinary system-of-care settings demonstrating the importance of professional collaboration.


trauma-informed knowledge, interdisciplinary baccalaureate curriculum, indirect trauma symptoms, bachelor’s-level trauma professionals

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

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