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Workforce Studies: Social Workers and Stress at Work

Stress At Work: How Do Social Workers Cope?

The 2004 benchmark national study of licensed social workers provided a wealth of information about social workers’ roles and work environments. The study also raised new questions about the social work workforce that required further exploration. Although the 2004 findings pointed to a looming shortage of licensed social workers, there was still much to learn about why this was the case. In what ways did career decision points, educational debt, workplace stressors, and other factors influence the recruitment and retention of this professional workforce? The NASW Membership Workforce Study was an effort to respond to such remaining questions and to gain more insight into the social work workforce. Click here to view the study.

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  1. Stress at Work

    I strongly believe that for the younger workforce, work stress facilitates much of their physical and mental problems. Work stress takes a much larger toll on our health than we care to admit. . In my book, Wingtips with Spurs, I devote an entire section to the effects of stress on our mental and physical health. Not from a medical point of view but rather from the view of a human resources professional of 30 years. Stress kills and will keep killing as long as we refuse to learn the coping tools.

  2. Where I work as a social worker, it is hard to deal with stress in rural areas because of the lack of resources. Some of us feel abandoned by the profession at times or forgotten. Some of us talked about getting together to have that increased support and to increase our creativity. I feel that social workers are not valued in our area as I think they should be. I am trying to do my part, but it takes time. I try to take care of myself as much as I can and I am thankful for the two social workers I have at my place of employment. Social workers still have the stigma that social services workers “take”children away are social workers and we are bad people. I keep my thoughts on staying in the profession by helping the next generation of case workers, therapist, social workers, or whoever to help with helping our clients

  3. Thank you for drawing attention to these important questions about workforce development. We’ll need to fill more than 700,000 community and social service positions between 2008 and 2018, with more than half of those jobs at the master’s degree level. Reports like this one are exactly what we need to help people understand what will be required to get there.

  4. I’m looking for trainings related to stress and burnout?

  5. Konnie Hendricks

    I have been in the profession for about twenty years. I have found that SW is a great and much need profession. I am in agreement with the fact that one can become burned out and stressed as a result of all that SW do to help others. You must be mindful to take care of yourself no matter what profession you are associated with. I salute all Social Workers and I personally know that a good SW is hardworking, caring, empathic, kind, knowledgeable and most of all concerned about the well being of others.

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