When leadership denies racism, it results in it becoming systemic and irrefutably linked to escalating rates of children being taken from family, writes Tracy Westerman.
In a previous life, I was a child protection worker. I understand how hard it is because I’ve walked the journey.
You accept that hearing traumatic stories and seeing the horror of childhood trauma is a part of the job description. Our training teaches us there is a fine line between caring too much and burning out; caring too little and being ineffective and compassionless.
As an Aboriginal worker, this line is even more challenging when the experience of racism becomes your most valuable therapeutic tool as well as the one most likely to render you helpless.
Vicarious trauma occurs when hearing your clients’ traumatic stories, witnessing traumatic incidents, traumatise those who are there to help. It’s recognised and increasingly understood in supervision and workforce support but not nearly as much as it should be. Read more here…