National eUpdate
February 2021
2021 Goal: Become Proficient at Coping
Child welfare caseworkers have relatively high levels of secondary traumatic stress (STS), which is positively associated with burnout and negatively associated with organizational support and coping (Rienks, 2020). Workers who used coping strategies reported fewer STS symptoms both concurrently and three years later. The more proficient copers were most likely to have a clear, culturally relevant self-care plan; participate in activities or hobbies; and have a work-to-home transition plan that allows them to leave work behind when they get home. Additionally, NCWWI Student Advisory Board members identified supports to address the unique challenges for social work trainees, including:
  • Developing and using self-care plans that include scheduling time off from school and work
  • Having relationships with faculty, supervisors, and mentors
  • Accessing cohort and peer support
  • Having employers with flexibility who value social work degrees and education
Child welfare organizations and social work educators play a critical role in supporting and promoting these essential coping strategies and must provide organizational supports to retain the current child welfare workforce and develop a new generation of effective child welfare leaders. We can accomplish this by regularly discussing and prioritizing self-care, showing supervisors and leaders modeling self-care, and offering regular trainings that describe the warning signs and symptoms associated with STS and coping strategies.
Celebrating Black History Month
We join in the month-long celebration highlighting the accomplishments of Black Americans and their crucial impact on history and culture. Here are a few resources to share with your children, youth, families, and colleagues:
Trending NCWWI Products
We are honored to support your workforce development efforts and hope these trending NCWWI products assist in your work. Please contact Sharon Kollar if you have questions about the following resources or if you need further assistance.

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