January 26, 2018
This week, I had the honor of co-presenting a day-long workshop entitled The Cost of Caring. It is a workshop designed by the Trauma-Informed Community Network in Fairfax County. The workshop focuses on human service providers and not just to provide resources and guidance, but to give them a chance to leave work behind and do kind things for themselves. The workshop allows them to take the time to complete various self-inventories on compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, practicing intentionality, and determining the amount of self care practiced at work and at home.
It is vital that human service providers have a basic understanding of cumulative stress, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. They are actually quite different but can affect us in similar ways. Treating the source of the stress is perhaps more important than simply treating the symptoms. This workshop also focuses on resiliency, what it means to be resilient, and how to use resiliency to combat the effects of stress. This can include strengthening our personal and professional connections, changing our perceptions, and practicing self care.
If you would like to know more about what the Fairfax TICN is doing, please visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/neighborhood-community-services/prevention/trauma-informed-community-network. (Good news — their resources are not just for residents of Fairfax County!)
You can also explore the self care resources we have for parents here.
— Tracy Leonard, Public Education Manager: tleonard(at)scanfamilies.org