The Cost of Caring:
 Secondary Traumatic Stress and the Impact of Working with High-Risk Children and Families

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Lesson 4: Finding Resources and Getting Involved

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Finding Resources and Getting Involved

Secondary Trauma impacts the physical and mental health of so many individuals in the helping professions.  Front line professionals working directly in highly stressful situations or circumstances are at great risk. Caseworkers and supervisors working in children's protective services, EMS professionals, 911 operators, clinicians, physicians... the list goes on and on.

Fortunately, new technologies, more public awareness, and some policy and practice changes are making it easier to get information and help.  You can help play a role by sharing what you learn with your colleagues and coworkers. There are resources out there -- often difficult to find and access, but out there nonetheless. Start by looking on the Web.

Organizations and Internet Resources

There are several organizations around the country that have taken the lead in developing materials and information for persons suffering from Secondary Traumatic Stress. Two of these organizations are listed below.


The Traumatic Stress Institute/ Center for Adult and Adolescent Psychotherapy is located in South Windsor, Connecticut and has a dual mission: (1) to promote understanding and improve treatment of traumatic stress and (2) to promote psychology as a discipline and profession. This Institute has developed some very useful resources for professionals struggling with secondary traumatic stress.

The Traumatic Stress Institute/Center for Adult and Adolescent Psychotherapy
22 Morgans Farms Road
South Windsor, Connecticut 06074
(860) 644-2541


The Traumatology Institute is the home of psychologist, Dr. Charles Figley, a pioneer in the field of compassion fatigue or secondary trauma. Dr. Figley is the founding Editor of the Journal of Traumatic Stress and has written many articles and books on compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress.

The Traumatology Institute
School of Social Work
Florida State University
C2500 University Center
Tallahassee, Florida 32306-2570
(850) 644-4751


International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), founded in 1985, provides a forum for the sharing of research, clinical strategies, public policy concerns and theoretical formulations on trauma in the United States and around the world. ISTSS is dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge and to the stimulation of policy, program and service initiatives that seek to reduce traumatic stressors and their immediate and long-term consequences.

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
60 Revere Drive, Suite 500
Northbrook, Illinois 60062
(847) 480-9028
Fax: 847/480-9282



The ChildTrauma Academy provides direct services for maltreated and traumatized children, conducts research, and develops programmatic innovations within the public and private systems that are mandated to protect, heal, and educate children. The ChildTrauma Web site is updated regularly, so you will want to check it often as new links and articles are posted. It is also the organization hosting this course!

The ChildTrauma Academy


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