Minimizing Mental Health impact of Burnout and Vicarious Trauma on Front-line Workers of the Residential Care Agencies
The Ontario Association of Residences Treating Youth (OARTY) is a provincial association of private
residential services. OARTY members provide support to individuals needing temporary, short or longterm
residential care; including those suffering the aftermath of abuse and neglect, and those with
developmental challenges, among others.
The problem that OARTY and its members are facing is a high staff turnover. While there are many
contributing factors, including limited financial resources, shift work, etc., from the mental health
perspective, two of them stand out: burnout and vicarious trauma. The mental health implications related
to burnout and VT are felt not only by residential care workers who choose to resign from their workplace,
but also by the children and youth in care, as losing staff has a significant negative impact on their care
OARTY is partnering with Seneca researchers, Professor Enza Badolato and Selvini Devasagayam, to
identify strategies that, when implemented by OARTY and its members, will help minimize the negative
impacts of burnout and vicarious trauma.