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> Social workers' demanding role requires emotional resilience

Emotional resilience is a key theme within the latest report, Building a Safe and Confident Future; One Year On , from the Social Work Reform Board (SWRB) describing the profession as an “emotionally demanding job” requiring “stamina, emotional resilience and determination“ to work with client groups with complex and changing needs.

Recent research by Kinman and Grant published in the British Social Work Journal on resilience to stress amongst trainees reported that social workers "tend to report higher levels of work-related stress and burnout than many other occupational groups" and further that "the high levels of stress and burnout endemic to social work have been found to contribute to the current retention problems in the UK."

Under new SWRB proposals, Continuing Professional Development should support social workers to “become more confident, emotionally resilient and adaptable to the changing demands of social work.”

Amongst other professional capabilities the SWRB report, encourages the “use of self/emotional resilience“ and requires professionals to be “an effective social worker while also promoting and protecting personal well-being.”

Kinman and Grant found that trainees with the ability to reflect on thoughts, feelings and beliefs were more likely to be resilient to stress, the research findings "highlight the value of reflection as a self-protective mechanism as well as a way of enhancing professional practice."

For original reports see: Social Work Reform Board, Building a Safe and Confident Future; One Year On, December 2010, Kinman and Grant, (July 2010) Exploring Stress Resilience in Trainee Social Workers: The Role of Emotional and Social Competencies, British Journal of Social Work , Oxford Univeristy Press
 

Posted in Latest News on 11/02/2011

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