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Moral Injury

Moral Injury refers to a profound change in or betrayal of one’s sense of right and wrong, Injury to one’s moral conscience. This concept is used widely to describe experiences of active-duty military combat; and has only recently been studied in the child welfare and other high-stake decision-making fields. ​


The insidious threat of moral Injury and its impact on professionals working in high-stakes fields contribute to poor outcomes for underserved and marginalized communities. Agencies providing services to families experiencing poverty, untreated/undertreated mental illness, family violence, or chemical abuse often have high-risk factors for moral Injury. Black and Brown communities continue to have poor outcomes when system involved. ​


To simplify this as much as possible, I would say that moral Injury is the psychological harm that comes with the wrongness of something. Everyone has a moral code, which will impact you when violated. Acts of violation can be commission, omission, or betrayal, usually by a source with power, real, perceived, or assumed.

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