Support and Self Care for Advocates
Support and self-care are important for anyone exposed to the trauma of child welfare. They’re particularly important for parent advocates because the experiences of the families they work with so often parallel their own.
Parent advocates may contend with pain and anger over traumas and injustices faced by parents. They may be asked to use their personal experiences in their work to support other parents or to educate the system and the public. This, too, can cause re-traumatization or feelings of over-exposure. At times, parent advocates may contend with complicated feelings about parents they work with.
In this section you’ll find reflections and tools related to support and self-care.
Emotional Supports that Address the Impact of Past Trauma and Current Work Challenges, Australia
The Family Inclusion Network of Western Australia
Jaquie Mayne and Debbie Henderson, Community Development Officer and Executive Officer of The Family Inclusion Network of Western Australia, reflect on the broad range of emotional supports FIN WA offers its family partners.
Emotional Support through Professional Development, The United States
The Bronx Defenders
In 2017, The Bronx Defenders, which represents parents with child welfare cases in family court and defendants in criminal court in New York City, and employs parent advocates to work on teams with lawyers and social workers, created a Safety and Wellness Taskforce. The taskforce decided to address emotional support and self-care through ongoing professional development for frontline staff and supervisors. Their Safety and Wellness Work Summary provides an overview of the topics they covered over the course of two years.