Child Welfare Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD)


CFS Strong – Building a Resilient Workforce

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“It’s extremely important that we have a continuum of care, much like we do for the families that we serve,” said one Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Children and Family Services (CFS) Area Administrator. He is part of the team that partnered with the QIC-WD to create CFS Strong – Building a Resilient Workforce to address secondary traumatic stress (STS) among frontline staff and supervisors.

According to a Nebraska Children and Family Services Specialist (CFSS), “There’s a lot of stress that we deal with working in the child welfare system. And a lot of it has to do, I think, with our exposure to secondary trauma on a daily basis.” He is not alone in feeling this way. A survey of CFSSs conducted by the QIC-WD in late 2017 found that more than half of child welfare workers reported elevated levels of STS.

This new video features CFSSs discussing the work-related stress they experience and the impact it has on their ability to stay in their job. It also highlights the various elements of the intervention and the perspectives of those who planned, led, and participated in CFS Strong. CFS Strong includes three components: weekly meetings, peer support, and debriefings after a traumatic event. Although study results will not be available until 2021, this video provides insight into what we are testing in the field to help grow our collective understanding of how child welfare agencies can retain workers.

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