The coronavirus pandemic has influenced the world heavily, affecting all aspects of society’s life. The concepts of “quarantine”, “self-isolation,” and “anxiety” have entered the everyday vocabulary of people living in different, often very dissimilar regions, with their own history, culture, traditions, and confessional affiliation. The speed with which living conditions, habits, and behavior patterns around the world are changing is striking. The pandemic hit especially hard one of the most important parts of the working class – the child and family-serving workforce. The presentation Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress and the Workforce discusses how exactly the child and family-serving workers were affected, establishing the definitions of the concepts of “secondary traumatic stress”, “compassion fatigue”, “burnout”, and “vicarious traumatization”. The NCTSN Learning Center (2021) provided the presentation to address the acute issue of traumatic stress in the field of family serving social work.
The speakers of the presentation emphasize that the secondary traumatic stress experienced due to indirect exposure to COVID-19 and its consequences can develop into a real post-traumatic stress disorder if not addressed properly. The NCTSN Learning Center’s (2021) presentation has showcased the exact impact the pandemic had made on the social work industry, specifically, on those who work with families and children. Indirect exposure to COVID-19 has resulted in significant mental health problems for many individuals, even going as far as causing a post-traumatic stress disorder in 17 percent of all family-serving workers (NCTSN Learning Center, 2021). These issues are said to persist in the long-term future and need to be identified and treated to reduce the negative impact. Specifically, by addressing the topic of secondary traumatic stress in child and family-serving workforce, the authors state that this distress is as important to be relieved as any other.
The speakers highlighted the fact that there are many consequences to the society that surfaced due to pandemic – most of them are negative. Epidemics and pandemics, which led to the dropout of huge masses of the working-age population from the economic turnover, have repeatedly become in economic history the opening act to serious economic cataclysms. These cataclysms, as a rule, proceeded in the form of financial shocks. However, indeed, it can be argued that never before has such an event become the cause of such a global shock. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only the economies of different countries, but the workforce too, causing huge distress to working people everywhere. Thus, the presentation offers guidelines that both individuals and organizations can use to mediate the traumatic effects of the pandemic.
Coronavirus has made a lasting impression on all spheres of human life, transforming society in a way that has never been seen before. The depth and severity of the transformations taking place in the socio-economic sphere give grounds to assert the long-term nature of the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic in social development. Therefore, it is important to address all aspects of the issue, especially ones, which are often overseen and remain untreated in the heat of it. Social workers are the core of the child and family services, and during the pandemic, they have taken the full blow of the discomfort and exposure, often without quality treatment. The presentation provides valuable insights into the traumatic consequences of COVID-19 for the child and family-serving workforce, highlighting the perspectives and offering guidance.
NCTSN Learning Center (Producer). (2021). Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress and the Workforce [Video file]. In The National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Web.