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May 2004Vol. 5, No. 4Mental Health of Frontline Workers

In the Winter 2004 issue of Best Practice/Next Practice, the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice focuses on mental health issues affecting frontline workers and supervisors in the child welfare system. Three articles address different aspects of this issue:

  • "Mental Health Issues in the Child Welfare System" provides an overview of the demands placed on frontline workers, as well as the need to provide adequate training, supervision, and support to these staff.
  • "The Experience from Within: Helping the Child Protective Service Caseworker" highlights the need for reflective case supervision to combat the susceptibility of caseworkers to vicarious trauma and caregiver fatigue.
  • "Child Abuse History, Secondary Traumatic Stress, and Child Welfare Workers" contrasts secondary traumatic stress with burnout in caseworkers, examining both causes and interventions.

Additional articles in this issue of Best Practice/Next Practice explore mental health issues affecting children in the child welfare system, including mental health services results from the Child and Family Services Reviews and parents relinquishing custody of their children with severe mental or physical disabilities in order to render the children eligible for Medicaid and other services.

Related Item

For more information on relinquishment of children with severe disabilities, see "Alternatives for Accessing Mental Health Services for Children" in the May 2003 issue of Children's Bureau Express.