Building capacity and maintaining an ongoing commitment to TIC efforts are critical to sustainability. However, although it is a critical component of TIC, training staff and parents on the impact of childhood trauma is not sufficient and does not in and of itself constitute TIC. TIC must also include comprehensive, ongoing professional development and education for parents, families, school staff, out-of-school program staff, and community service providers on jointly addressing childhood trauma.
Secondary Traumatic Stress TIC also means attending to the psychological and physical safety and well-being of the adults who care for children who have experienced trauma. Professionals, parents, and other caregiving adults may suffer secondary traumatic stress (trauma-related reactions to exposure to another person’s traumatic experience). The National Child Traumatic Stress Network recommends the following strategies to combat secondary traumatic stress and reduce related staff burnout and turnover:
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Provide high-quality, reflective supervision
Maintain trauma workload balance
Support workplace self-care groups
Enhance the physical safety of staff
Provide training to both staff and leadership to increase awareness about secondary traumatic stress and how to address it effectively
Develop opportunities for staff and leadership to learn about and engage in self-care practices.
Create external partnerships with secondary traumatic stress experts.
Regularly assess the vulnerability and resilience of staff and leadership to second traumatic stress
Create a buddy system for self-care accountability.