In It for the Long-Haul: Concrete Strategies for Building a Trauma-Informed Workplace

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90 Minutes

Originally Aired
April 19, 2022

Ava Carcirieri, PhD
Director of Special Court Programs
Delaware Family Court
Erica Davis
Domestic Violence Coordinator
Delaware Family Court

In recent years, there has been a push for organizations to become trauma-informed. While this is a necessary endeavor that many technical assistance providers have pivoted many trainings towards, there is a dearth of information about what it means to build vicarious trauma (VT) awareness into an organization. Trainings provide a wonderful resource for staff and supervisors, however, becoming a trauma-informed workplace must do more to ensure systemic and ongoing efforts to reduce VT in the workplace. Government organizations often have additional barriers that limit how funds and resources are used.

This presentation will highlight Delaware Family Court’s experiences with becoming a trauma-informed workplace, as our staff are at high risk of suffering the negative consequences of VT (namely burnout, cynicism, and hostility); which in turn affects how they interact with and help victims of violence that come to court seeking relief. The presenters will cover specific examples and strategies that were employed to build VT awareness into the organization from the ground up, such as: Human Resources policy and document changes, management/supervision techniques and directives, employee performance review enhancements, court-wide policy construction, and employee onboarding trainings.


As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Describe strategies used to construct Vicarious Trauma (VT) workplace policies, and include VT awareness in performance evaluations, and employee recruitment. 
  • Identify ways that supervisors can support their staff and mitigate VT. 
  • Create an employee onboarding training schedule that addresses the risk of exposure and directs staff to wellness resources. 
  • Explain the importance of VT awareness-building to your organization’s leadership and the need to continuously manage trauma.

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