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Vicarious Trauma Toolkit Helps Agencies Establish Priorities, Develop Response

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2018
2 pages
This article from the May 2018 issue of TECHBeat describes the features and benefits of a toolkit developed by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) for public safety agencies to assess their capacity as a vicarious trauma-informed organization.
The Vicarious Trauma-Organizational Readiness Guide (VT-ORG) tool assists public safety agencies in assessing their capacity to identify and render services to their personnel, who are regularly exposed to the suffering and trauma of those they serve, thus making them vulnerable to experiencing vicarious trauma. The targeted agencies are those that render victim services, emergency medical services, fire services, and law enforcement services. Both the toolkit’s assessment component and the Compendium of Resources are organized into sections relevant to each of the four targeted disciplines and how agencies working in these fields deal with exposure to the traumatic experiences of the people with whom they interact. Organizations can act to mitigate the negative impact vicarious trauma can have on individuals and organizations. The developers of the toolkit worked with just over 20 organizations to demonstrate its reliability and validity. The provided survey tool can be used in other software tools, such as Survey Monkey or Qualtrics, so it can be sent to personnel in obtaining data relevant to vicarious trauma. Organizations can receive technical assistance in the use of the toolkit from OVC’s Training and Technical Assistance Center.
Date Published: May 1, 2018