According to a recent report from the CDC, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant increase in reported mental health conditions, substance abuse and suicidal ideation (Czeisler, 2020). Teachers and social workers are important points of contact for children and families who have experienced trauma because they often develop trusting relationships with where they can provide resources and support to families impacted by trauma.
The core of the project focused on conducting focus groups that explored teachers’ and social workers’ experiences with the dual pandemic of racialized violence and COVID-19 using a trauma-informed framework and an interactive design method. Overall, we found that an interdisciplinary approach between education and social work provided insight related to trauma-informed approaches in educational contexts. Results of this study demonstrate that teachers and social workers articulate a need for professional development that could have an important impact on the experiences of children and families. There is a need to prepare teachers and social workers to address trauma but also to support teachers’ and social workers’ experiences with secondary trauma as well.
This project was funded by a Catalyst Grant from the Friday Institute and NC State College of Education.