As part of our Stand up for Social Work campaign, we are making selected guides from Community Care Inform free for a limited period. Guide to developing social workers’ emotional resilience is now available.
“Social work is a rewarding but stressful occupation”
Last week Community Care launched what we hope will be the largest study of social worker burnout in the UK. Research indicates that emotional resilience can help protect social workers from burning out due to work-related stress and the highly complex and challenging situations they often face, and actually help them thrive.
The guide is based on the authors’ research with practitioners into what makes some people more able to “bounce back” and cope with difficulties and stress.
Build your own “toolbox”
It is designed to help you build your own emotional resilience toolbox by reflecting on the competencies that can help you cope well in stressful situations, adapting your “thinking style” when it comes to problems or perceived failures and identifying techniques that can help “in the moment”.
The guide also discusses how to get the most from supervision to enhance both practice expertise and emotional wellbeing.
Protect yourself against burnout
Key strategies explored include finding an appropriate level of empathy with service users, thinking about how you interpret events and practical ways colleagues can support each other.
Community Care is working with Paula McFadden at Queen’s University Belfast to investigate social worker burnout in the UK. The research uses the Maslach Burnout Inventory which measures emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation (reduced capacity for empathy) and sense of personal accomplishment. Find out more about taking part here.
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