Children & Family Services Training Center Renews Contract with Department of Human Services


Alyssa Walker

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines


Beginning July 1, 2015, the Children and Family Services Training Center (CFSTC) began its renewed contract with the North Dakota Department of Human Services Division of Children and Family Services. The contract allows the CFSTC to continue to serve as the primary training agency for child welfare services in North Dakota. In this role, the center provides training and resources for child welfare practitioners and foster parents.

One of the programs that the CFSTC provides is the Secondary Trauma Prevention and Support Program. The CFSTC’s contract with the Department of Human Services has expanded the services of the Secondary Trauma Prevention and Support Program, enabling staff to provide training and consultation to residential facilities in North Dakota.

Secondary trauma is defined as the “stress resulting from helping or wanting to help traumatized or suffering persons” (Figley, 1995). The often-stressful work of a child welfare worker exposes them to a higher risk of experiencing secondary trauma.

David Conrad, a nationally renowned expert in addressing secondary trauma in child welfare workers, serves as the CFSTC’s secondary trauma consultant. Currently, the CFSTC provides introductory secondary trauma training workshops, secondary trauma training for supervisors, educational support groups for supervisors, and topic-driven trauma and stress reduction sessions. The expansion of the contract with the Department of Human Services enable staff in North Dakota’s residential child care facilities and, in some cases, Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities, to utilize Conrad’s support and expertise. The focus of the training is on equipping the staff to deal with their own secondary trauma and manage it in a way that makes sense for each individual.

Peter Tunseth, Director of the CFSTC stated, “We are excited to expand our Secondary Trauma Prevention and Support Program. By supporting welfare workers in the field, it strengthens the system response and equips the child welfare workforce to do their job in the best way possible.”