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Vicarious Trauma

Working with children and families who have experienced abuse may affect professionals in profound ways – both positively and negatively. The way this work impacts individuals and organizations is complex and there are many terms and constructs which serve to give us a common language to describe our lived experiences.

Once you have heard the stories of children and families coming through the doors of your agency, the world looks and feels like a different place than it did before you began this work.

In recent years, there has been an increased awareness and understanding that both individuals and organizations need information, training, and resources to mitigate the negative effects and leverage the positive effects of vicarious trauma and secondary traumatic stress. This issue affects both individuals and organizations, and both have a responsibility to address this issue which can interfere with the delivery of optimal services.

This page provides information and resources to create responses that will allow organizations to create environments to support staff and multidisciplinary team members. The Vicarious Trauma Plan Guide offers numerous suggestions and resources, many of them free of charge. The other resources listed are devoted to providing information so the dedicated professionals who work with traumatized children have the opportunity to develop career-sustaining strategies. For questions about any of the resources listed, please contact Karen Hangartner, Project Director, Southern Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, at khangartner@nationalcac.org 


210 Pratt Avenue
Huntsville, Alabama 35801
Tel: 256.533.KIDS (5437)
Fax: 256.534.6883

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Child Abuse Library Online (CALiO) is supported by a grant awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.