Article Title and Authors
Correlates of Secondary Traumatic Stress in Child Protective Services Workers By Brian E. Bride PhD Jenny L. Jones PhD & Samuel A. Macmaster PhD
Bride et al., (2007) assesses the cause of secondary traumatic stress amongst child protection services professionals who deal with physically and emotionally abused children. The authors argue that there is a significant tendency of secondary traumatic stress on professionals dealing with children who have suffered from trauma and notes that the cases of secondary traumatic stress are more evident on young professionals compared to long-serving child protection services professionals due to the development of coping mechanism with time. Bride et al., adds that most of the child protection service professionals who have experienced trauma and abuse as children are more likely to develop secondary traumatic stress. The CPS professionals suffer from vicarious traumatization and secondary traumatic stress through interactions with their clients. The secondary traumatic stress symptoms upon contact with victims of abuse include; distressing emotions, intrusive imagery, physiological arousal, and functional impairment. The study holds that young people are most likely to be affected by secondary traumatic stress when dealing with victims of trauma. Older professionals are less affected by secondary traumatic stress because of the ability to develop trauma coping mechanism. In particular, the study established that the employers could create interventions on the correlations established to cause secondary traumatic stress amongst the child protective services professionals.
Second Article Title and Author
Secondary traumatic stress and burnout in child welfare workers: A comparative analysis of occupational distress across professional groups by Sprang, G., Craig, C., & Clark, J
Sprang, Craig, & Clark (2011) assesses the incidences of secondary traumatic stress and burnout in child welfare workers compared to other professional groups. The study findings note that child welfare workers are more affected by secondary traumatic stress and burnout due to their interactions with trauma victims. The study notes that amongst the participants in the study young males and low religion participation increased the chances of secondary traumatic stress and burnout while those that were active in religious services reported lowest chances of getting burnout. The study goes further to assess the strategies that can be used to improve proactive self-care amongst the child welfare workers which can help to address high secondary traumatic stress and burnout. The authors agree with other previous studies that secondary traumatic stress is an occupational hazard for those working in child welfare organizations. In the t-test the study noted that males are more likely to suffer from burnout compared to women while African Americans and Asians were more affected compared to Caucasians. More importantly, the study noted that child welfare workers could use spirituality and religious beliefs as buffers against secondary traumatic stress and burnout. According to Sprang et al., child welfare agencies can develop secondary traumatic stress and burnout coping mechanism for child welfare workers to promote socioemotional support such as reflective supervision while ensuring trauma-informed child welfare practices and providing the child welfare workers with an opportunity to have the balance between their work and personal life.
Relationship Between the two Articles
The article by Sprang et al., (2011) and Bride et al., (2007) are highly related in that they both evaluate the impacts of secondary traumatic stress amongst people working in child welfare agencies. The study assesses the extent at which child welfare workers who deal with child trauma cases develop traumatic stress and calls for the need of the creation of coping strategies to cushion child welfare workers from secondary traumatic stress.
Importance of the Articles to CJ professionals
The two articles would positively benefit CJ professionals due to its ability to increase awareness of secondary traumatic stress and burnout which leads to the destruction of many careers. The awareness of secondary traumatic stress and burnout can help CJ professionals to develop the trauma-informed coping mechanism which will improve the life and practice of CJ professionals.
Readings Importance in Policy and Training Decisions
The two articles are important in policy and training decisions by ensuring that child welfare agencies and other occupations that deal with trauma victims can develop measures to reduce burnout and trauma, especially amongst the young child welfare service providers. The readings would help develop policies to help young child welfare service providers to cope with dealing with trauma cases through self-care initiatives. The articles can help child welfare agencies to develop worker's resilience which could improve their capacity in offering child support to trauma victims.
Steps to Generate Interest in Trauma Stewardship as a CJ Professional
Creating Balance between Work and Personal Life
The balance between life and work can improve CJ professional's resilience when dealing with traumatic cases. Vicarious trauma reduces when one has a good balance between work and life by ensuring that one has enough time to do other personal life activities such as engaging in sports, hobbies and a loving family environment.
Self-care and Relationship Building
Dealing with traumatic cases leads to vicarious trauma and how one manages the emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual responses to trauma through self-care play a significant role towards continued performance. Building relationships can play a significant role towards achieving trauma stewardships amongst CJ professionals.
Trauma-Informed Welfare Systems
CJ organizations and professionals should develop trauma-informed welfare systems that takes into consideration the effect of trauma on the CJ professionals. Vicarious trauma can be overcome through trauma-informed policies that ensure the welfare of the child welfare providers is provided. Through trauma-informed policies a CJ professional can pursue a culture that reduces vicarious trauma.
Bride, B. E., Jones, J. L., & MacMaster, S. A. (2007). Correlates of secondary traumatic stress in child protective services workers. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 4(3-4), 69-80.
Sprang, G., Craig, C., & Clark, J. (2011). Secondary traumatic stress and burnout in child welfare workers: A comparative analysis of occupational distress across professional groups. Child welfare, 90(6), 149.
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