Who cares for the care workers? In Kazakhstan, Almaty region social workers explored this question during the “Caring for Caregivers” seminar facilitated by Dr. Scott Breslin (Operation Mercy International Director 2009-2019), in partnership with the Almaty Department of Employment and Social Management.
The first step was realising that care workers generally receive care at three different levels: from the government in the form of policies and regulations, from their organisations in making sure that their staff are healthy and earning a salary, and from themselves in the form of self-care. From there, together with Dr. Breslin, the social workers explored the levels of organizational- and self-care further.
At the conclusion of the seminar, the social workers said that the most useful things they learned from the training were how to do self-care, the importance of having a positive attitude towards themselves and others, conflict resolution in a work place, pursuing partnerships with others and the importance of being a lifelong learner.
One social worker thanked Operation Mercy for valuing them enough to run the training for them. Another social worker said that they often feel like robots in the system, and it’s hard for them to change the way that they do things. She thanked Operation Mercy for showing their appreciation for the social workers.
Our hope is that now those who attended the seminar are more aware of their vulnerability to burnout, compassion fatigue and dealing with secondary trauma. We also hope that they are more equipped to deal with conflicts courageously and gracefully, and that they will ensure that systems of self-care are put in place.
This was the first time that Operation Mercy Kazakhstan has run a seminar in partnership with the Almaty Department of Employment and Social Management and we look forward to developing this partnership further