Keeping Hope Alive - vicarious trauma and emotional wellbeing in human services practice

Encompass Family and Community
Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 9:30am to 4:00pm
Airport International Motel, 528 Kingsford Smith Drive.
4 007
This one-day workshop is presented by Matthew J Armstrong, who has researched vicarious trauma and delivered papers on the topic at national and international conferences.

The concept of “vicarious trauma” is used to describe the emotional and psychological impact of working in the human services. Those who have chosen careers that require them to care about the plight of others often endure a significant impact on their own emotional health.

However few of us have ever had the opportunity to learn about these complex processes, to reflect on our own personal  experiences of caring, and, most importantly, to learn and implement strategies which allow us to practice our unique profession in ways which are safe, sustainable, and which celebrate the privilege of helping others.  

This well-received workshop has been developed and delivered by Matthew J Armstrong.  Matthew has undertaken a research project into vicarious trauma, and his work in this area has been presented at both national and international conferences and is referenced in a leading   Australian social work text and important publications on child protection practice.  Matthew is a social worker who has worked for nearly 20 years in human services as a child protection worker, foster carer, policy officer, researcher, educator, and senior practitioner. He now joins with the Encompass team to bring you his practice knowledge and  wisdom. 

Who should attend?

Workers in human services who regularly assist adults, children or young people who experience trauma. Includes strategies for child protection and family welfare workers, teachers, foster carers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups, private practitioners, and administrative staff.


You’ll learn more about:

  • Key concepts and models relating to vicarious trauma and emotional wellbeing, including ideas drawn from recent neuroscience research into trauma and empathy
  • Experiential and reflective activities to build insight and self awareness
  • Tools to promote transformation and healing despite the day-to-day challenges of human services practice
  • Tips on organisational and supervisory strategies to promote resilience
  • Specific  strategies and information for different participants, including child protection and family welfare workers, teachers, foster carers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups, administrative staff, managers and supervisors