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Understanding social work-force satisfaction

Pithouse, Andrew ORCID:, Rees, Alyson ORCID:, Brookfield, Charlotte ORCID: and Djupvik, Alf 2021. Understanding social work-force satisfaction. Journal of Social Work 21 (1) , pp. 107-127. 10.1177/1468017319868121

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Summary A Guardian Newspaper survey of social workers in the UK published in 2015 suggested that ‘The happiest social workers are in Wales’. In exploring why this may be so, the authors undertook an in-depth national online survey in 2017 of all social workers in Wales registered (n = 5564) as employed at that point and from which some 997 responded. The survey sought a wide field of information about the occupational experience, and this article reports on selected aspects of knowledge, evidence-base, aims, competence and quality as perceived by respondents. Findings The workforce, durable, mostly white, aging and female, consider their services of good quality despite insufficiencies in staff capacities and material resources. While most acknowledged the influence on their practice of psycho-social, cognitive and systems paradigms, they also cited as major sources of knowledge, their clients, work experience, colleagues, case-procedures and in-house training. There seemed much less affirmation of evidence-based techniques and relatively little use of social work journals, books and professional magazines once qualified and in practice. Applications The emphasis by many upon the bureau or department as both ‘habitus’ and heuristic for much everyday practice raises important questions for how we understand and enhance practitioner knowledge and ensure equivalent social worker competence across the workforce.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1468-0173
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 October 2019
Date of Acceptance: 11 June 2019
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 07:12

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