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Levels of stress and anxiety in child and family social work: Workers' perceptions of organizational structure, professional support and workplace opportunities in Children's Services in the UK

Antonopoulou, P; Killian, M; Forrester, D; (2017) Levels of stress and anxiety in child and family social work: Workers' perceptions of organizational structure, professional support and workplace opportunities in Children's Services in the UK. Children and Youth Services Review , 76 pp. 42-50. 10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.02.028. Green open access

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Abstract

Child and family social workers are consistently found to have high levels of stress, and this has often been linked to burnout and retention problems in the profession. Local authorities in the UK have recently been under pressure to reform services, and one focus has been exploring how different organizational structures might reduce stress and increase well-being of workers. This paper presents data on 193 social workers from five local authorities in England. We examine the effects of different ways of organizing Children's Services on workers' well-being, with particular focus on the underlying relationship between organizational elements, workplace opportunities, and practitioners' work satisfaction. The primary outcome measure is the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12, Goldberg, 1978), a widely validated measure of stress. This data is presented alongside information exploring aspects of organizational structure and functioning. Results indicated significantly different levels of reported stress and general well-being in practitioners working in different local authorities. Implications for how local authorities might support staff to work productively in the stressful and challenging environment of child and family social work are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Levels of stress and anxiety in child and family social work: Workers' perceptions of organizational structure, professional support and workplace opportunities in Children's Services in the UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.02.028
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.02.028
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Stress, Well-being, Organizational structure, Work satisfaction, Child protection social work
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10080427
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