Main Page
This Issue
Next Article

2005 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 10, No. 3
June 2005

Assessing Worker Distress

The information on this page is presented for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for informed medical advice or training.  Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified health or mental health care provider.  If you have concerns, contact your health care provider, mental health professional, or your local community health center.

Child welfare workers and supervisors may be interested to know that several tools have been devised to help gauge worker distress. Links to a few of these can be found below. Please be aware that these instruments, even those that have been empirically validated, are no substitute for formal mental health screening and intervention. If you or someone you know seems to be suffering from trauma or stress, please consult a mental health professional.

Compassion Satisfaction/Fatigue Self-Test for Helpers
A 66-item self-test to help you estimate your compassion status: how much you are at risk for burnout and compassion fatigue and also the degree of satisfaction you receive from helping others. Developed by Stamm and available free through the Green Cross Foundation. Go to <>

Child Trauma Academy's Assessment
This 19-item self-test can be found in Lesson 2, page 6 of the free online course "The Cost of Caring: Secondary Traumatic Stress and the Impact of Working with High-Risk Children and Families." Available at <>.

Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale
This 17-item instrument is designed to measure intrusion, avoidance, and arousal symptoms associated with indirect exposure to traumatic events via one's professional relationships with traumatized clients. Developed by Bride (1999). To learn more, read "Development and Validation of the Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale" by Bride et al., 2003, which can be found at <>

Measures of Traumatic Stress & Secondary Traumatic Stress. This website by B. Hudnall Stamm, Ph.D, contains information and links to additional instruments for measuring symptoms of secondary traumatic stress. Go to <>

References for this and other articles in this issue