Compassion fatigue in schools
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Educators and school staff working with high-needs students who have experienced adversity and/or trauma have additional stressors inherent with this particular group. As a result of the relational nature of working with these students, the exposure to their trauma can increase the risk of developing compassion fatigue (CF). The lack of awareness of CF in the field of education, limited prevention, support and educational resources in schools, in addition to the lack of acknowledgment and support from administrators are all factors that place educational staff working in schools at further risk. Further, the muddiness and the lack of a clear definition of CF in the limited research in the field of education also contributes to challenges with developing prevention, awareness and educational programs. Not only does CF affect the health and well-being of staff, but it can also impact the students that are in the care of staff members, creating a vicious cycle. Providing yearly educational workshops, especially for young and/or new teachers can not only help raise awareness and decrease the risk of developing CF, but it can also help lower rates of illness, stress leave and staff attrition.