Caring Safely® Online Program

Skill-based program for compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and burnout prevention.

Registration Opens August 2024

Program Begins October 23, 2024

What is Caring Safely®?

Caring Safely® is a comprehensive program that goes far beyond self-care. It will fundamentally change the way you think about your work.

This 12-month live, online program is unlike any other compassion fatigue program, supporting you as you learn and implement new strategies for long-term benefits.

Program Includes:

Lecture style training videos and workbook

Live sessions and 1-1 office hours

Downloadable relaxation practices

Recommended reading materials and resources

An amazing community of helping professionals from around the world

Done for you resources (for those in the Compassion Fatigue Expert program)

Ongoing access to founder of program with quarterly office hours.

We hear about “burnout” and “compassion fatigue” all the time. In one ear, out the other, beautiful worksheets get put into a pile as we go back to our normal, even if toxic, routine. Caring Safely goes beyond what is easy to gloss over. It’s real, direct, and highly beneficial." 

In 2007 I was suffering from compassion fatigue and burnout. I didn’t know what vicarious trauma was and I didn't have strategies to protect myself. I felt raw, exhausted and wanted to hide from everyone.

In 2008 I learned about compassion fatigue and became fascinated with it. Where many in my field would have left, I went in the opposite direction. I dived into the world of compassion fatigue/satisfaction. I took multiple, workshops, trainings and spent years reading research while offering live workshops, online programs, presentations and individual coaching.

Caring Safely® is the program I needed in 2007 and I’m excited to offer you the 5th round, including the latest research and even more strategies to help you navigate these complex times.

Leading Edge Curriculum

Learn strategies based on the most recent research in compassion, fatigue, vicarious trauma and moral injury as you navigate the complex dynamics of working during a pandemic.

Have 12 months of access to the training modules, previously recorded live sessions, workbook and resources. 

Personalize your training

This is not a cookie cutter program. There are over 34 strategies that you are invited to personalize and integrate into your life. Choose from the personal program, supervisor/manager program or the expert program.

Uncomfortable asking questions in an online meeting? Join live office hours where you meet with Charlene 1-1 to ask your questions.

Caring Safely® Community

Caring Safely members are amazing helpers from around the world who support each other during the struggles and celebrate with each other during the wins!

Optional live, online, weekly sessions with Charlene and your Caring Safely® peers to ask questions and review case examples. These are recorded for those who can't attend live.

Signs You might have compassion fatigue

  • You have zero desire/energy to do anything after work

  • You’re more irritable or angry

  • You’re beginning to withdraw from family/friends

  • You dread going back to work each week or day dream about leaving your field

  • You feel like a hypocrite helping people when you feel like you’re barely managing yourself

  • You keep thinking about work after hours

  • You have a hard time saying “no” when people ask you to take on extra work

  • You’re self-medicating (numbing) with food, cigarettes, shopping or alcohol

  •  You’re worried about the long-term impact of your work on your relationships or health

“The structure of it was wonderful. The clear explanation of the concepts of vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction that then lead into a vast array of strategies. I found that I was able to easily connect the practice with the theory of it and personalise it to my own experiences. The group has also been excellent.” 

People in Caring Safely Begin to...

  •  make small changes that lead to an increase of energy
  •  check in with themselves and take the time they need to finish their task before helping someone else
  •  say “no” to additional workload/projects personally and professionally
  •  feel pride in their work and harness the energy that comes from compassion
  •  make plans for the evenings and weekends with loved ones and actually enjoy them
  •  try activities they have always wanted to try
  •  communicate clear boundaries with clients/patients/students/colleagues
  •  recognize and release the thoughts that cause perfectionism and anxiety
  • This is a biggy…. ask for help and be okay with receiving it!

"Take it! Now! Don’t wait! It will change your life! I’m so glad I did. The tools I learned here, or that I learned to apply to my compassion fatigue and personal needs, were so incredibly valuable!

In just the first few weeks I started noticing that I was able to let the little stressful situations at work roll off, and I noticed myself slowing down and paying more attention to my internal experience while at work.

This helped me to be more attuned to myself and also to the needs of my clients.

This program is helping me find happiness in my life, satisfaction in my work, and it is helping me be a better helping professional."

Who is Caring Safely® For?

Caring Safely® is for people who work in helping professions such as:

  • Social workers, NCC, MMFT, mental health clinicians, behavioral health consultants, psychologists
  • Case managers, intake workers, peer support workers, outreach workers, crisis counselors
  • Teachers, nurses, massage therapists, veterinary doctors
  • Clinical supervisors, managers and leadership


"A few of us decided to sign up for Charlene's program. We are working in a hybrid model and don't see each other often, so it was nice to get together to talk about the strategies we were learning. It helped me see that I'm not the only one who is having a hard time adjusting to this kind of work and that it's okay to talk about these things. I'm still struggling with compassion fatigue, but not as much as before and I'm just really relieved that there are more things I can try to manage compassion it." 

Three Levels of Caring Safely®

In Caring Safely®, you'll find a combination of theories used, including: Solution Focused, Cognitive Behavioural, Dialectical Behavioural, Acceptance and Commitment, Mindfulness-Based Interventions, Motivational Interviewing and Behavioural Health. 

Personal Program

The Personal Program includes Modules 1 to 6

Clinical Supervisor / Manager Program

The Clinical Supervisor / Manager Program includes Modules 1 to 9

Compassion Fatigue Expert Program

The Compassion Fatigue Expert Program includes Modules 1 to 12

Module 1

We'll go deep into the concepts of Caring Safely including the good, the bad and the ugly.

You’ll learn how to Integrate and Implement the concepts so you can apply what you're learning to your own experiences and make this program fit for you.

You’ll learn the Caring Safely® foundational framework that is designed to set you up for long-term change and the ability to practice Sustainable Caring. I'll show you how to get started even if you think you're too tired to take on anything else.

Module 2

I'lI take you deeper into your thoughts and beliefs about being a helping professional and help you clarify your personal values.

You may want to jump into more strategies, but in years of teaching this I’ve learned that if people don't do this foundational work done they aren’t likely to stick with the strategies for more than a few weeks (if that!).

Later I'll ask you to try things that may be uncomfortable, such as setting boundaries, saying “no” and letting go of perfectionism. This module will help you get through any stress that may come with that.

Module 3

Here you'll learn more about vicarious trauma and vicarious post-traumatic growth, which can come from being regularly exposed to pain, suffering and trauma. We'll explore moral injury and how the pandemic increased this around the world.

Caring Safely® is different as you'll not only focus on reducing the pain that can come from this work, but also on increasing the good that it can bring as you begin to practice strategies to enhance that area of personal growth.

Module 4

While this module is all about self-care, I always say, "managing compassion fatigue takes more than self-care”. Compassion fatigue can rob your energy/desire to regularly do things for your mind, body and soul, even if you know it will help you feel better.

I take you through an exercise to help you realistically add more nourishment into your days. Many Caring Safely students have said that this is one of their favourite parts of the program as it changes the way you think about "self-care" in your daily life.

Module 5

Here you’ll learn a variety of strategies to protect yourself from vicarious trauma and secondary traumatic stress, which can lead to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. You'll also learn a framework to prevent the development of moral distress.

While you'll learn how to protect yourself from secondary traumatic stress, it's still possible that on occasion you could develop symptoms. I'll teach you an action plan to immediately put in place in case you find yourself feeling those symptoms.

Module 6

In my experience, some parts of this module can bring the most discomfort and take the longest to implement. We'll focus on compassion and self-compassion. I intentionally put this module last because I know many people may struggle with self-compassion, especially if it means accepting, or (gasp) asking for help.

We'll finish with a focus on the future and you're long-term practice for Sustainable Caring. I'll guide you through a process to get clear on what you want your future to look like and how to takes steps towards that.

Module 7

We begin the Clinical Supervisor and Management section of the program with a trauma-informed framework for understanding workplace health in settings prone to compassion (CF) fatigue and vicarious trauma (VT) including the risk factors and protective factors (organizational and individual).  

When supervisors or managers want to implement practices to reduce CF and VT, there can be pushback from staff and/or leadership. You'll learn how to navigate these dynamics with strategies for bottom-up changes.

As clinical supervisors and managers have different roles and responsibilities, strategies will be provided for both.

Module 8

We'll focus on the role of a manager who balances multiple needs (stakeholder, organizational, staff and personal).

You'll learn a framework to assess the readiness for change within the organization. Based on this framework, you will learn which strategies to use to advocate for a healthy workplace that addresses compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and burnout.

You can choose from quick to implement short-term strategies and longer-term strategies for fundamental change, based on your role, abilities and capacity. This module include a discussion on how to address and work through a lack of trust from previous management practices.

Module 9

Here we'll focus on the role of a clinical supervisor and review strategies to bring the concepts of Caring Safely® into clinical supervision practices.  

You'll learn strategies to help staff reflect on their experiences at work and how it may impact them personally. We'll explore the complex dynamics of providing this support while maintaining professional boundaries and when it's recommended for staff to seek additional support outside the workplace setting.

Examples of clinical supervision forms and contracts are provided. This module includes a discussion on the struggles of being both clinical supervisor and manager for those who hold those dual roles.

Module 10

Please note that the expert program is for professionals who are part of a regulatory association, such as: social workers, NCC, MMFT, psychologists, teachers or nurses.

In this module you may begin to feel as though you are back in school. We get into the research on the concepts and practices that help people manage compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.  It’s important for you to have this solid foundation as you develop a specialization in this subject matter. 

You won't take the Caring Safely® content and present it, for a variety of reasons, which I'll share. You'll be guided to create your own content and presentations based on your area/population of interest. You might want to develop a presentation for staff in your workplace or you may be in private practice and want to offer workshops in your area.

I'll help you clarify your goal and support you as you develop materials specific to that goal. 

Module 11

Master the research, strategies and concepts of preventing compassion fatigue and learn how to create your own presentations and workshops, including: a 15-minute presentation at work, a 60-minute keynote, a half- or full-day workshop.

I'll give you tips on public speaking and managing a crowd for positive engagement (learn from my mistakes;)

I'll teach you a framework that I believe is very important for good presentations/trainings that are both educational and engaging, providing a good learning experience.

I'll also share a practice that will help you grow in this role and evolve your content/materials over time, which will help you develop and offer different training formats to broader audiences. You'll even see my first presentation from 2008 and how it evolved into Caring Safely®.

Module 12

In this module we'll review the Business of Compassion Fatigue including the both the business structure and the marketing aspects of being a subject matter expert.

You'll get the foundational information you need to get started including the type of business you can begin and how the price you charge can change overtime, as you get more experience.

You'll learn how to market (tell people) about your specialization so they can hire you to speak/present. I promise, it won’t require you to do a cheesy…. “But Wait – There’s More” infomercial.  I'll show you an individualized approach so you feel authentic,  not "fake" or "pushy" (those are common fears when developing an expertise) as you begin to offer your services.

And finally, you'll get "done for you" resources that you can personalize to jump start your presentations.

"In my years as a social worker, I’ve worked with a lot of challenging populations. I’ve had periods of severe compassion fatigue, burnout, and vicarious trauma to the point where I had thought of leaving the field.

I have gone to many training on compassion fatigue, but not until I took the Caring Safely course have I felt that I have the tools to apply to my daily life and work as a clinician.

I loved all the modules and worksheets, and in particular I really appreciate having the supportive group to share with others about how we are applying the things we are learning. I highly recommend this course - I will be using the tools for years to come, as I truly feel I can stay in the field much longer using what I have learned!"

The Schedule

The Caring Safely® Program begins October 23, 2024.

Register for immediate access to Modules 1-6. 


Oct. 23rd Welcome Live Session

Oct. 27th Module 1 Live Session

Nov. 3rd Module 2 Live Session

Nov. 10th Module 3 Live Session

Nov. 17-25 implementation week 

Nov. 17th Office Hours

Nov. 22nd Office Hours

Nov. 24th Module 4 Live Session

Dec. 1st Module 5 Live Session

Dec 8th Module 6 Live Session

Dec. 15 – 21 implementation week

Dec. 15th Office Hours

Dec. 17th Caring Safely® Online Holiday Party

Dec 19th Office Hours

End of CS Personal Program – ongoing quarterly office hours.

Supervisor / Management

On Nov. 17th Modules 7-12 will be released for the Clinical Supervisor/Manager and Expert Programs.

Jan. 12th Module 7 Live Session

Jan. 19th Module 8 Live Session

Jan. 26th Module 9 Live Session

Feb. 2 – 8 Implementation Week

Feb. 2nd Office Hours

End of Clinical Supervisor/Manager Program - ongoing quarterly office hours.



Feb. 9th Module 10 Live Session

Feb. 16th Module 11 Live Session

Feb. 23rd Module 12 Live Session

Mar. 2-8 Implementation Week

Mar. 2nd Office Hours

End of Compassion Fatigue Expert Program - ongoing quarterly office hours.


"The Caring Safely course has been such a tremendous help in terms of how I can change my mindset, the responsibility pie and what is within my control and what is not within my control has given me the courage to persevere…

Hearing from others in the group has shown me that I’m not alone and has given me the courage and a new perspective.

Seeing the research, it put into words for me as to why I am staying in social work and why I chose this helping profession."

Instructor Bio

Charlene Richard, B.S.W, M.S.W., RSW

Charlene is a registered social worker in Calgary, Alberta who has been working in addictions and mental health since 2004 in various settings, including: cmha, crisis shelters, university counselling centres, community mental health and addictions, primary care and private practice.

In 2008 Charlene began providing training on compassion fatigue prevention for individuals and organizations. Charlene is the founder of Caring Safely® and a multi-award-winning instructor with the University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work. She is also the author of 20 Quick Strategies to Help Patients and Clients Manage Stress.

Ready to Join?

I'd be honored to support you in this journey!

You have 4 different options – scroll down to see full details and to register:

  1. Personal Program: Modules 1 to 6, 8-Week Online Program, 27 CE Hours
  2. Clinical Supervisor/Manager Program: Modules 1 to 9, 12-Week Online Program, 37.5 CE Hours
  3. Compassion Fatigue Expert Program: Modules 1 to 12, 16-Week Online Program, 47.5 CE Hours
  4. Deluxe Expert Program: Everything in the expert program plus extensive support in creating your content and developing your business.

Joining a program like this is an investment of your time, money and energy, so please email Charlene at [email protected] if you have any questions.

This program comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee from the date of registration. If you’re not happy with the content, you can request a no questions asked refund.

---All prices are in US currency. Taxes included where applicable.---

Caring Safely® Personal Program

Immediate access to all 6 modules with the videos, handouts and resources

12+ months access to the Caring Safely® training platform.

8 week online program

6 live sessions, 4+ office hour session for 1-1 support, plus quarterly office hours

6+ hours of lecture based videos

40+ handouts/slides

6 guided audio downloads

Recommended resources

Access to closed online community for support and connection

Optional quiz for certificate of completion for 27 continuing education hours.

Clinical Supervisor or Management

Everything in Personal Program plus:

Modules 7-9

Additional 4 weeks of online training

3 additional live sessions and office hours

3+ hours of lecture based videos

Recommended resources

Optional quiz for certificate of completion for 37.5 continuing education hours.

Compassion Fatigue Expert Program

Everything in Clinical Supervisor/Management Program plus:

Modules 10-12

Additional 4 weeks of online training

3 additional live sessions and office hours

3+ hours of lecture based videos

Recommended resources

Optional quiz for certificate of completion for 47.5 continuing education hours

A copy of my book 20 Quick Strategies to Help Patients and Clients Manage Stress

Quarterly live office hours after the program ends.

Deluxe Expert Program

Everything in Compassion Fatigue Expert Program plus extensive support to help you create and market your training:

Two 45-minute individual consultations after the completion of Module 12.

A review of your outline or slides with feedback and recommendations.

Support with your research

I've spent as much time, money and energy (probably more) learning how to develop and market my business. This is a HUGE topic, which I now teach through my online program Private Practice Bliss™.  When modules 7-12 are released, you'll get access to this previously recorded live online training, which includes 6+ hours of training, the workbook and list of recommended resources.

Program Begins October 23, 2024

Registration Opens August 2024


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