Trauma and Social Work in South Africa, Need for a Comprehensive Trauma Intervention Model for Social Workers


Trauma, Trauma Intervention, Social Work, South Africa.

How to Cite

VAN WIJK, T. ., NTOMBELA, N. ., & MABVURIRA, V. (2021). Trauma and Social Work in South Africa, Need for a Comprehensive Trauma Intervention Model for Social Workers. PRIZREN SOCIAL SCIENCE JOURNAL, 5(3), 69–76.


A significant proportion of South Africans are exposed to traumatic life experiences annually. The trauma is exacerbated by high crime rate which ranges from murder, violence, house breaking and theft. The trauma victims end up in the hands of social workers who are ill prepared to deal with such clients. The motivation for this study was built on assessments that indicated at the time of the study that social work students in South Africa receive little or no training on trauma and trauma intervention. The purpose of this literature study was to draw together relevant knowledge on trauma in South Africa, trauma intervention and the importance of trauma intervention training for social workers in South Africa. Articles reviewed were identified through search engines such as Google Scholar, JSTOR, ProQuest, EBSCOHost, Boloka-NWU Institutional Repository (NWU-IR), Scopus, Science Direct and Web of Science were the databases and search engines utilized in the search. The inclusion criteria that were used to help identify relevant and recent studies using key words regarding the topic of trauma, were chapters in books; conference proceedings; full-text journal articles and higher degree papers. The literature consulted exposes how South Africans are exposed to traumatic life events and provided a deeper understanding of the problem of trauma and trauma intervention. The literature study also clarified why it is critical to have a trauma intervention model for social workers in South Africa and provided guidelines for the development of the trauma intervention manual.


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Copyright (c) 2021 Tessa VAN WIJK, Ngenisiwe NTOMBELA, Vincent MABVURIRA