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S24-703 Adopting a Trauma-Informed Lens in Social Work Practice

Total Credits: 3 including 3 Category I CE

700 Professional Growth & Development
Carolyn Knight, PhD.
Course Levels:
3 Hours 15 Minutes
Target Audience:
Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists



Research of clinical populations in a wide range of practice settings consistently reveals that a majority of clients who seek or are required to seek social work services have histories of trauma. This includes settings in which clients’ trauma exposure is the focus of treatment—like crisis and disaster relief—and settings in which the treatment focus is on clients’ present-day challenges, including school, outpatient and inpatient behavioral health, correctional, and child welfare settings. Whether the trauma exposure is in the foreground or background, it is incumbent upon social workers to understand how they can respond to the unique needs of clients with histories of trauma in ways that promote resilience, empowerment, and growth and minimize the risk of re-traumatization.   

In this workshop, the presenter explains the trauma-informed (TI) conceptualization and identifies its core principles. The presenter identifies practice skills that social workers already possess that promote a TI orientation in their practice. She clarifies that adopting a TI lens in clinical practice does not require practitioners to adopt a new set of skills.  

Working with clients with histories of trauma inevitably leads to indirect trauma and its three manifestations: vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and compassion fatigue. Therefore, the presenter introduces attendees to these affective reactions and identifies ways in which social workers can manage them.  


This workshop will adopt a discussion format. Relevant research and case examples will be integrated throughout the presentation, and attendees will be encouraged to share their questions, cases, and concerns.  


Carolyn Knight, PhD. Related Seminars and Products

Dr. Carolyn Knight is a social worker with more than thirty-five years of experience working individually and in groups with adult survivors of childhood trauma and teaching practice in the generalist and foundation social work practice curriculum. Dr. Knight has written about and presented workshops on the trauma-informed conceptualization and its application to clinical practice and supervision. She is co-author, with Professors Alex Gitterman and Carel Germain (deceased), of the 2021 social work practice text, The Life Model of Social Work Practice, 4th ed. She also is the author of Introduction to Working with Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma: Strategies and Skills and Group Therapy for Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, as well as numerous articles and book chapters on working with adult survivors.   


Dr. Knight is the co-editor of two additional books, Group Work with Populations at Risk, 4th ed (with G. Greif) and Trauma-informed Supervision in a Global Context (with L.D. Borders). She is co-editor of the forthcoming book (with G. Greif), Handbook of Contemporary Group Work Practice: Promoting Resilience and Empowerment in a Complex World, published by Oxford University Press.  

Agenda & Learning Objectives


8:50-9:00  Registration/Log On  



  • The TI Formulation and its Core Principles 



  • Integrating a TI Orientation into Social Work Practice 


10:45 – 11:00 Break 


11:00 – 11:30  

  • Integrating a TI Orientation into Social Work Practice 



  • Indirect Trauma: The Impact that Working with Trauma Survivors has on Social Workers 


12:15 Questions & Adjournment  



Upon the completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the trauma-informed conceptualization and its core principles.  

  • Identify practice skills that reflect a TI orientation.  

  • Recognize manifestations of indirect trauma and ways of managing their affective responses.  

Bibliography & References



Frey, L. L., Beesley, D., Abbott, D., & Kendrick, E. (2017). Vicarious resilience in sexual assault and domestic violence advocates. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 9, 44-51 


Gitterman, A., Knight, C., & Germain, C. (2021). The life model of social work practice 4th ed. New York NY: Columbia University Press.  


Harris, M., & Fallot, R. (2001). Using trauma theory to design service systems: New directions for mental health services. Jossey Bass. 


Knight, C. (2023). Integrating a trauma-informed perspective into the foundation and generalist social work practice curriculum. In L. Tufford & A. Dylan (Eds). Trauma-informed care in social work education: Implications for students, educators, and field. Abingdon UK: Routledge. 


Knight, C. (2019). Trauma informed practice and care: Implications for field instruction. Clinical Social Work Journal, 47, 79-89. 


Lee, J. J., Gottfried, R., & Bride, B. E. (2018). Exposure to client trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and the health of clinical social workers: A mediation analysis. Clinical Social Work Journal, 46, 228–235. 


Levenson, J. (2020). Translating trauma-informed principles into social work practice. Social Work, 65(3), 288-298. 


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMSHA) (2014).  Retrieved from 

Course Completion & CE Information

Category I Maryland BSWE Requirement

The Office of Continuing Professional Education at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education programs. This workshop qualifies for 3 Category I Continuing Education Units. The Office of Continuing Professional Education is also authorized by the Maryland Board of Psychologists and the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors to sponsor Category A continuing professional education.

Please refer to the tab "Live Interactive Webinar Policies & FAQs" for UMSSW Office of CPE policies regarding all live interactive webinar related matters.

Target Audience

Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists

We welcome anyone interested in the topic!


Late Fees and Refunds

The base price is $70 and includes CE credit. A non-refundable late fee of $20 is added on April 3, 2024

Cancellations** must be received 24 hours in advance prior to the workshop to receive a refund or an account credit.

Late fees cannot be refunded or applied to  account credit. 

**ALL cancellations will be subjected to a $35.00 administration fee.**

Live Interactive Webinar Platforms


The Office of Continuing Professional Education hosts Live Interactive Webinars through two platforms: Zoom and WebEx.

Both platforms offer high quality and user-friendly webinar platforms for our registrants.


System Requirements:

  • Operating Systems: Windows XP or higher; MacOS 9 or higher; Android 4.0 or higher.
  • Internet Browser: Google Chrome; Firefox 10.0 or higher.

Our system is not compatible with the Safari web browser.

  • Broadband Internet Connection: Cable, High-speed DSL and any other medium that is internet accessible.

**Please have your device charging at all times to ensure that your device does not lose power during the webinar.


Course Interaction Requirements:

To participate in Live Interactive Webinars, you MUST have a device that allows you to view the presentation on screen and hear the instructor at all times. We do not allow participants to call-in from their phones or mobile devices and solely listen to the presentation. Participation in Live Interactive Webinars is mandatory.

Webinar Policies & FAQs

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ADA Accommodations

If you are requesting ADA accommodations, please contact our office via email at least two weeks prior to the workshop date. Requests after that date may not be fulfilled.  

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