Trauma management and debriefing services

NICDAM provides trauma management and debriefing services to front line officials who deal with the impact of trauma first hand.

  • Debriefing of Social Workers after the Marikana massacre
    NICDAM was appointed by the National Department of Social Development in September 2012 to facilitate professional debriefing sessions for social workers who assisted clients after the Marikana massacre. Nine sessions were held and a total of 41 social workers attended.
  • Debriefing of DSD social workers
    Based on the facilitation of debriefing sessions to social workers after the Marikana massacre, NICDAM was appointed by DSD through the CARA (Criminal Asset Recovery Fund) as part of the Victim Empowerment Programme to provide debriefing sessions for 50 social workers per province to address secondary traumatisation as a result of their work and to facilitate a high standard of services to victims of crime.
    During the 2015/2016 financial year, all nine provinces were reached and sessions completed. Social workers evaluated the course as very helpful in dealing with vicarious traumatisation and compassion fatigue.
  • Debriefing of families of victims: Nigerian tragedy
    NICDAM was appointed to assist DSD officials in debriefing of families of people who lost their lives during the Nigerian tragedy in Lagos when a building collapsed. The families were counselled and supported during the reception ceremony that took place over the weekend of 15 & 16 November 2014. A number of government departments including Defense Force, Correctional Services and Department of Social Development worked together to form a debriefing team of 150 counsellors.

NICDAM is currently responsible for managing the National Department of Social Development’s National Emergency Response Team (NERT), officially launched in November 2016. NERT is an immediate response mechanism involving a capable team who, within the shortest possible time, respond to critical incidences. The psychosocial support needs and the level of threat to the well-being and safety of affected individuals, groups, families and communities are assessed and acted upon.

NERT is also seen as a support structure for the Gender Based Violence Command Centre, by providing face-to-face caring conversations to reported cases.

The NERT is committed to conduct itself in a respectful and ethical manner. It acknowledges the principles of Trauma Informed Care as a strength based framework that emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both survivors and providers, and that creates opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment in their lives.

NERT was involved in 37 interventions up to April 2017 (5 months since launch). Support were given in Categories A (direct victims), Category B (in-direct victims, including schools and communities); Category C (ad hoc high profile cases, disasters, accidents, debriefing of front line workers), and Category D (Community Conversations).

The NERT case interventions focus mostly on cases of GBV and include family murders, suicides, murder by a stranger, road accidents, debriefing of social workers experiencing vicarious trauma, and Community Conversations to address the effects of trauma, and harmful gender issues.

Three interventions that stand out are: Dialogues at Rhodes University to address sexual misconduct on campus; giving trauma support to families of the patients who died due to the closing of the Esidemeni facilities in Gauteng as invited by the Ministry of Social Development on the National Commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on 3 Dec 2016; and support for one of the female survivors of the Rhodespark rape and murder incident of October 2016.

quoteAbuse is there, it is happening. But people are now not scared to talk – the issue has been put on the table and people feel open to talk about it.quote

— Community Facilitator

quoteI was able to forgive him, even after what he has done.quote

— Programme Participant

National Department of Social Development Video: National Emergency Response Team

    Contact Us

  • Tel (+27) 012 656 7014 / 84
  • Fax-to-Email (+27) 086 670 5691
  • Email