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A randomised controlled trial of Schwartz Rounds: An intervention to reduce psychological distress for staff in children's services

Wilkins, David ORCID:, Thompson, S., Bezeczky, Z., Daher, S., Bennett, Verity ORCID:, Jones, R. and Clayton, V. 2021. A randomised controlled trial of Schwartz Rounds: An intervention to reduce psychological distress for staff in children's services. Available at:

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Workplace wellbeing is a challenge in children’s social care, with high rates of sickness absence and turnover amongst social workers. Schwartz Rounds – an intervention which provides a forum for staff of all levels to share their experiences, stories, and reflections on the challenges of their work – have been shown to be effective in healthcare and clinical settings, but never tested in children’s social care before. WWCSC funded a randomised controlled trial in ten local authorities, working with social workers and other staff. The study aimed to test whether these open fora have an effect on staff wellbeing and workplace stress. Though not statistically significant, the research found that those who were invited to Schwartz Rounds reported a slightly lower number of sickness-related absences (those in the intervention group recorded, on average, 4.56 sick days, compared to 4.63 in the control group), and had lower average GHQ-12 scores – a widely used measure of psychological distress – 13.5 for the control group, compared to 12.9 for the treatment group. The qualitative feedback from those who participated in Schwartz rounds was almost universally positive, with staff reporting benefits in relation to personal wellbeing, collegiate relationships and their direct work with children and families. The report recommends that local authorities consider providing Schwartz Rounds as part of their efforts to support staff wellbeing.

Item Type: Monograph (UNSPECIFIED)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE)
Additional Information: Funding Department for Education, England.
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 September 2022
Date of Acceptance: 30 September 2021
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2023 11:22

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