Child Welfare Workers' Experiences with Client Fatality and Trauma Symptomatology

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2011

Project Description/Abstract

Annually, more than 2,000 U.S. children die from maltreatment. About 30%-50% of those who suffer a child maltreatment fatality (CMF) are known to child welfare agencies. Yet, we know little about the experiences and mental health concerns of child welfare workers who experience a fatality on their caseload. There is a growing field that is dedicated to worker stress, burnout, and secondary trauma. Yet none of this research has explored the potential relationship between worker distress and child fatality. The purpose of this proposed study is to examine the relationship between experiencing the death of a client on the trauma symptomatology of child welfare workers. The results of this study will yield important information about the mental health of child welfare workers and the kinds of supports that they may need when a client dies. This grant, if funded, will result in a conference presentation and paper publication.

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