Research-To-Practice Brief

Identifying and Addressing Compassion Fatigue within TANF Programs: A Guide for Managers

Compassion can be defined as “feeling for” others who are in pain with warmth, empathetic concern, and the capacity to understand their perspective and intentions. Compassion is necessary for staff in human service settings to effectively engage clients, understand the context surrounding their journey and personal goals, and accurately identify a path forward and appropriate support services. But if we consider compassion as a finite resource, what happens if it runs out?

This brief, which was prepared in conjunction with PeerTA Podcast Episode 2: Combatting Compassion Fatigue, focuses on emerging issues related to compassion fatigue within the context of managing teams. The brief addresses the following questions: What is compassion fatigue and how may it affect the teams I manage? What are the factors that lead to compassion fatigue? How might I recognize compassion fatigue within my teams? As a manager, what steps can I take to help mitigate the effects of compassion fatigue? What can I learn from other TANF programs that implemented strategies to address issues associated with compassion fatigue?

Supportive Services
Health/Behavioral Health Referrals and Supports
Special Populations
TANF Program Administration
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