The Impact of a Trauma-infonned Model of Care on Child Welfare Workers and StaffTurnover in a Care Management Organization

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Child welfare staff are at risk for secondary traumatic stress due to daily exposure to vicarious trauma while working with children and families who are traumatized, often due to family violence. The stress of working with maltreated children is significant in that it contributes to negative client outcomes and high staff turnover rates and results in an inexperienced workforce of care providers. There is a need to address secondary traumatic stress among child welfare workers using a systematic, organizational approach to reduce staff turnover and improve the quality of care delivery to children. New Jersey child welfare services are delivered via Care Management Organizations that often struggle to meet the federally mandated goals of child safety, protection, permanency, and well-being. Child well-being is often not addressed, and knowledge regarding trauma-informed care is often lacking among child welfare workers. The purpose of this capstone project was to investigate whether implementation of trauma-informed care practices in a child welfare service delivery setting resulted in decreased turnover and secondary traumatic stress symptoms among workers. Using the evidenced-based National Child Traumatic Stress Network Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit, a Care Management Organization’s service delivery design was changed to become trauma-informed and the impact of the change evaluated using measures of turnover rates and workers’ compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, and professional quality of work life.

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  • 03/27/2024
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