Çocuk Destek Merkezlerinde Çalışan Profesyonellerin İkincil Travmatik Stres Deneyimleri
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AKKURT, Derya. Secondary Traumatic Stress Experiences of Professionals Working in Child Support Centers, Master Thesis, Ankara, 2022. The existence and psychological effects of a traumatic life extend beyond individuals who are directly exposed. Traumatic experiences also affect the victim’s family or the professional staff who work with him. Indirect exposure to a traumatic experience is defined as secondary traumatic stress. In this context, professionals working in the field of child welfare may be indirectly affected by children’s traumas. The purpose of this research is to present the secondary traumatic stress experiences and risk factors that lead to indirect exposure of professionals working with traumatized children at Child Support Centers. For this main purpose, data was collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews with 21 professionals working in the Child Support Center. The data were analyzed by thematic analysis. According to the research findings, in Child Support Center professionals work with a variety of case types such as sexual abuse, substance abuse, psychopathology, migration and parental abandonment. They have many roles and responsibilities in the social rehabilitation process for children who have been through traumatic situations, which has a negative impact on professional satisfaction. Working in the field of child welfare is empowering through the experience it has gained, crisis response and case management development. Stress burden, state of control, skepticism and undermining the belief in the just world are debilitating dynamics. It is seen that professional strategies for dealing with secondary trauma are to devote time to mind relaxing activities during off-the-job periods, balance professional and social life, share with family and colleagues and to receive supportive trainings. The requirements of professionals include supervision, training, rotation, collaboration and coordination, preventive and therapeutic mental health services. Within the research context, it is noted that the risk factors in development of secondary traumatic stress are case types, exposure duration, professional experience and psychosocial support. As a result, policy practices that protect, support, and develop professionals in the micro, mezzo, and macro dimensions that make up the social work discipline’s professional practice steps are needed. Keywords: Child Support Center, Secondary Traumatic Stress, Burnout, Social Worker.