NC School Age Trauma Resource Series – Section 3: Supporting Staff Resiliency

 Healthy workforce development is essential to dealing with the effects of trauma and toxic stress. Staff and co-workers employed by trauma-informed workplaces are more likely to showcase positive work behavior and exceed expectations. Current psychological research highlights that trauma-informed places of work record higher rates of staff retention, staff development, and employee work satisfaction (Davis Laak, 2014; Jackson, Firtko, Edenborough, 2007). 

For school age professionals, a trauma-informed work environment is necessary. Apart from dealing with the stress associated with early care, many North Carolina school age workers face the mental and emotional struggles tied to lower compensation and irregular work hours. Comparable early education salary data by the NC Institute for Child Development Professionals, shows that an average afterschool/summer camp group leader earns an average of $10 an hour — a wage well below the $14.72 living wage threshold in the state (NCICDP, 2015). The combined stress of under-compensation, early care fatigue, and pre-existing negative life events make school age professionals susceptible to traumatic induced stress. 

Section Three of The North Carolina School Age Trauma and Resilience Series looks at the importance of staff resilience and workplace mental health support for school age professionals. This section focuses on how you can help fellow school age colleagues approach, cope, and deal with personal trauma and stress in the classroom. 

The North Carolina School Age Trauma and Resilience Resource Series is developed in coordination with the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education, NC CCR&R Council, and Southwestern Child Development Commission.