Job conditions, unmet expectations, and burnout in public child welfare workers: How different from other social workers?

Public child welfare workers take on the most difficult cases and unreasonable amounts of responsibility despite inadequate resources, insufficient rewards, and complex requirements for monitoring service outcomes.

Using data from a sample of 408 social workers in California, the authors found that public child welfare workers experienced higher workloads, greater role conflict, and depersonalization, and had lower personal accomplishment. They also had similar levels of unmet professional expectations and emotional exhaustion similar to non-child welfare social workers. These several factors led to higher levels of burnout and eventual turnover for child welfare workers.

The full study can be found here.

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