Two Sides of One Coin? Relationships Build Resilience or Contribute to Burnout in Child Protection Social Work: Shared Perspectives from Leavers and Stayers in Northern Ireland

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Abstract

Child protection is a stressful occupation that can result in burnout and job exit for some social workers. This paper will focus on the positive or negative impact of co-worker and manager relationships, reporting on the meaning applied by workers, on how these relationships impacts on their ability to manage the challenges of child protection work. Semi-structured interviews with 15 social-workers who left and 15 who stayed, reveal the critical importance of relationships at work for either building resilience or contributing to burnout. Recommendations call for employer level interventions to promote relationship focused interventions to enhance social worker resilience.
LanguageEnglish
Article numberDOI: 10.1177/0020872818788393
Pages1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Social Work
Volume1
Issue number13
Early online date17 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jul 2018

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burnout
child protection
resilience
social worker
social work
co-worker
employer
occupation
manager
worker
ability
interview

Cite this

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title = "Two Sides of One Coin? Relationships Build Resilience or Contribute to Burnout in Child Protection Social Work: Shared Perspectives from Leavers and Stayers in Northern Ireland",
abstract = "Child protection is a stressful occupation that can result in burnout and job exit for some social workers. This paper will focus on the positive or negative impact of co-worker and manager relationships, reporting on the meaning applied by workers, on how these relationships impacts on their ability to manage the challenges of child protection work. Semi-structured interviews with 15 social-workers who left and 15 who stayed, reveal the critical importance of relationships at work for either building resilience or contributing to burnout. Recommendations call for employer level interventions to promote relationship focused interventions to enhance social worker resilience.",
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