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Working in human services: How do experiences and working conditions in child welfare social work compare?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2008 In: The British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, Vol. March 11, (Advance Access)- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. March 11, (Advance Access)- p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25108OAI: diva2:198924
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7732Available from: 2008-05-15 Created: 2008-05-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Arbetsvillkor i den sociala barnavården: förutsättningar för ett kvalificerat arbete
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Arbetsvillkor i den sociala barnavården: förutsättningar för ett kvalificerat arbete
2008 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis describes and analyzes the working conditions of child welfare social workers who responded to a comprehensive questionnaire (n=309, dropout rate 3 per cent).

In Study 1, the working conditions of social workers new to the profession (0-2 years) were compared with those of social workers with longer experience. The study shows that less experienced workers were more often found working in areas characterized by worse socioeconomic conditions and in workgroups where many others were also new and inexperienced. Although they described some aspects of their working conditions more positively they tended to report more health problems.

In Study 2, working conditions of the child welfare social workers were compared with those of other professional human service workers. The study shows that although social workers in general and child welfare social workers in particular made positive assessments of their working lives, social work was unusually demanding among human service professions on several measures of workload, complexity of tasks and quality of management.

In Study 3, the associations between the child welfare social workers’ working conditions and their health and well-being were investigated, controlling for background variables. The negative consequences of high job demands, especially for psychological health and well being emerge.

In Study 4, factors associated with the social workers’ intention to leave the job were investigated. The study showed that lack of human resource orientation within the organization was of greatest importance.

The results are analyzed from two different perspectives; the effort/reward model and new institutional theory. The main conclusions are that improvement is needed of the introduction to the profession at the workplace, that the status of child protective work needs to be raised and that social workers need help to limit their responsibility load, more time and space for reflection, and greater valuation of their work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för socialt arbete - Socialhögskolan, 2008. 216 p.
Rapport i socialt arbete, ISSN 0281-6288 ; 128
social workers, working conditions, job demands, health, intention to leave
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7732 (URN)978-91-7155-681-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-06-05, Aula Svea, Socialhögskolan, Sveaplan, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2008-05-15 Created: 2008-05-14Bibliographically approved

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