Seeing the trauma of homeless women
Chen, Yi Chen
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Homeless women are recognized as a vulnerable group in North America. They have difficulty being accepted in society and in their own communities. Given these realities, they lack a support system and are at higher risk for re-traumatization in their environment. As a social work practicum student at MyAunt’s Place, a shelter for homeless women in Regina, Saskatchewan, I witnessed the re-traumatization of homeless women during their healing process while staying in the temporary residence. I focused on trauma-informed practice (TIP) to understand their trauma and crisis intervention skills that support problem solving in the complex situation they face, including domestic violence, substance abuse, victimization, unstable housing, poverty, and sexism. My goal was to learn how to assist these women to find their strengths and regain control and power over their lives. Upon completion of the practicum, I reflected on my own personal development as a social worker with a view toward strengthening my own skill set and abilities within the context of social work practice, ethics, and values.