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STS Blueprint: A Guide to Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress in Children's Advocacy Centers

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This tool was designed to help Child Advocacy Centers develop an organizational plan to address secondary traumatic stress among CAC staff members; it provides background on the need for an organizational plan to address STS at an organizational level, discusses the importance of an organizational health approach, provides information about the STS Organizational Assessment, and lists resources cited.


This secondary traumatic stress (STS) toolkit provides users with the STS Blueprint, which contains rating tools and strategies for implementing STS-informed policies and practices at Child Advocacy Centers (CACs). The goal for the toolkit is to address the importance of addressing STS at an organizational level to enable child abuse professionals to receive the help they need as they interact with and help victims of child abuse and are, as a result, regularly exposed to the trauma of child abuse and its impact. The six domains of the STS Blueprint are based on the Secondary Traumatic Stress Informed Organizational Assessment (STSI-OA), with some adaptations. This guide highlights the importance of an organizational health approach for addressing STS; discusses individual risk and protective factors for STS; reviews existing research on the topic; and provides a comparison of STSI-OA and STS Blueprint domains.