"Consultants and visitors ask us what is happening with the children and adolescents with whom we work, but no one had ever asked us: How do you feel at work? How do you take care of yourselves? What are your limits?...How does your organization care for you?"
-A person who works with high-risk youth
Understanding this special problem…
In 2008 CWS LAC commissioned two studies on the ways social justice NGOs protect and care for their staff. Our research shows that work-related stress is especially intense for those exposed to the sustained trauma of assisting vulnerable groups such as indigenous peoples, children survivors of sexual abuse, or other victims of extreme social exclusion. Stress is heightened by harsh conditions in places like remote areas with dangerous roads or hotspots of urban violence. Our findings show the effects are dramatic on workers’ physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
CWS LAC is building a regional program called Caring Hands to promote “staff care:” the attitudes and actions that institutions take to promote the well-being of their staff, and that staff take to promote the well-being of themselves and each other. “Self-care,” one component of staff care, refers specifically to the actions individuals take to promote their own well-being. Staff care involves institutional and personal awareness, attitudes and practices.
This program includes awareness-raising among NGOs, donors and other stakeholders, diagnostic materials, training, practical tools, and accompaniment of staff care initiatives.
Click here to download our new resource "Today..." in English, Spanish, Portuguese or Haitian Creole.
Want to skype with CWS LAC staff for more info on this program? Write to us at email@example.com today.