Crisis Debriefing

Discussion about Crisis Debriefing started in 2005 when supervisors were concerned about debriefing child welfare staff after an egregious incident and they were concerned about secondary traumatic stress.  That's where things really started: identifying secondary trauma and the need to address it.  From there, trainings for Secondary Traumatic Stress were developed and implement for supervisors and workers. 

Several models of debriefing were studied and in 2012, Mary Pulido from the New York Society of Prevention to Cruelty to Children was brought in to present at a joint Administrators Conference.  She presented on Restoring Resilience Response Model that they use for debriefing child welfare workers in New York City.  Following the conference, input was received from focus groups at the WCHSA Conference and from several volunteer counties about what they needed in terms of crisis debriefing.  Based upon that input and our research, we decided to pursue a hybrid model of the Mitchell Model of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and the Restoring Resilience Response Model (RRR model).  Greg Young has been working with us on developing and training this hybrid model. 

The counties who helped initiate Crisis Debriefing felt that it would be beneficial to support one another and be able to call on debriefers trained from neighboring counties to debrief their staff if there was a critical incident. Each county trained in Crisis Debriefing has an assigned point person and an administrative contact that can be contacted for support, if needed. 

We offer a two-day Crisis Debriefing training where participants will receive a certificate from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) for 14.0 Continuing Education Hours.  The fee for the two-day training is $70 for full members and $270 for partial and non-members. 
Following the two-day day training, we offer a one-day Advanced Crisis Debriefing training that is a full day of practicing debriefing skills using scenarios relating to human services work.  Participants will receive a certificate for 6.0 Continuing Education Hours from BHTP for the one-day Advanced Crisis Debriefing training.  The fee for the one-day training is $35 for full members and $135 for partial and non-members.

Resources for New Counties

Critical Incident Crisis Debriefing Guidelines
Debriefing Guidelines

Sample County Policies and Forms
Below are sample policies, procedures and forms from various county agencies.  These samples can be helpful for new counties who are creating their own policies, procedures and forms.  It is important to have policies and procedures in place that can help create the structure for this process to work.  It is up to each agency to decide how they want to develop these policies.  Important points to consider are what constitutes the need for a debriefing, when do you need external debriefing, identifying staff to be trained, making sure all staff know who to go to if they feel they need debriefing, and incorporating it into new employee orientation.

Dodge County
Dodge County Crisis Debriefing Policy

Outagamie County
Critical Incident Policy

Sheboygan County
CISM Defusing
CISM Handout
Crisis Debriefing Policy and Procedure
Critical Incident Stress Management Narrative
Critical Incident Stress Management Roles
Debriefing Steps
Handout to give to supervisors 
Helpful Tips for Defusing Process for Supervisors

Winnebago County
Crisis Debriefing P-P

Upcoming Crisis Debriefing Trainings

November 7th & 8th, 2019
9:00am - 4:30pm daily
Radisson Milwaukee West
Grantosa Room
2303 North Mayfair Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Course is Full
April 2nd & 3rd, 2020
9:00am - 4:30pm daily
Tundra Lodge Resort & Waterpark
Ontario & Huron Room
865 Lombardi Avenue
Green Bay, WI 54311

Upcoming Advanced Crisis Debriefing Trainings

February 27, 2020
9:00am - 3:45pm
Radisson Milwaukee West Grantosa Room
2303 North Mayfair Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Course is Full
July 9, 2020
9:00am - 3:45pm
Tundra Lodge Resort & Waterpark
Ontario Room
865 Lombardi Avenue
Green Bay, WI 54311

If your agency is interested in participating, please contact Joanne Tulachka at or 920.465.2117 to register for training.  These training opportunities are not available on our website.  You need to request the link to register and must be part of a new or established team to do so.