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Exploring the self-care practices of child welfare workers: A research brief

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  • Miller, J. Jay
  • Donohue-Dioh, Jessica
  • Niu, Chunling
  • Shalash, Nada

Abstract

Child welfare workers experience higher rates of vicarious trauma, workplace stress, and compassion fatigue, when compared to other social service workers. Increasingly, social service agencies, in general, and child welfare agencies, specifically, recognize the importance of self-care in assuaging these problematic employee outcomes. However, research that explicitly examines the self-care practices of child welfare workers in nominal. This study brief explores the self-care practices of child welfare workers (N=222) in one southeastern state. Results reveal that child welfare workers only engage in self-care at moderate levels. Additionally, data suggests that variables such as health status, current financial status, and relationship status significantly impact personal and professional self-care practices, respectively. After a terse review of relevant literature, this brief will explicate findings associated with this study, and identify salient discussion points and implications for child welfare training, practice, and research.

Suggested Citation

  • Miller, J. Jay & Donohue-Dioh, Jessica & Niu, Chunling & Shalash, Nada, 2018. "Exploring the self-care practices of child welfare workers: A research brief," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 137-142.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:84:y:2018:i:c:p:137-142
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.11.024
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Madden, Elissa E. & Scannapieco, Maria & Painter, Kirsten, 2014. "An examination of retention and length of employment among public child welfare workers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 37-44.
    2. Boyas, Javier F. & Wind, Leslie H. & Ruiz, Erika, 2015. "Exploring patterns of employee psychosocial outcomes among child welfare workers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 174-183.
    3. Miller, J. Jay & Grise-Owens, Erlene & Addison, Donia & Marshall, Midaya & Trabue, Donna & Escobar-Ratliff, Laura, 2016. "Planning an organizational wellness initiative at a multi-state social service agency," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 1-10.
    4. Salloum, Alison & Kondrat, David C. & Johnco, Carly & Olson, Kayla R., 2015. "The role of self-care on compassion satisfaction, burnout and secondary trauma among child welfare workers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 54-61.
    5. Lizano, Erica L. & Mor Barak, Michalle, 2015. "Job burnout and affective wellbeing: A longitudinal study of burnout and job satisfaction among public child welfare workers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 18-28.
    6. Blome, Wendy Whiting & Steib, Sue D., 2014. "The organizational structure of child welfare: Staff are working hard, but it is hardly working," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 181-188.
    7. Schelbe, Lisa & Radey, Melissa & Panisch, Lisa S., 2017. "Satisfactions and stressors experienced by recently-hired frontline child welfare workers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 56-63.
    8. Ellett, Alberta J. & Ellis, Jacquelyn I. & Westbrook, Tonya M. & Dews, Denise', 2007. "A qualitative study of 369 child welfare professionals' perspectives about factors contributing to employee retention and turnover," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 264-281, February.
    9. Griffiths, Austin & Royse, David & Culver, Kalee & Piescher, Kristine & Zhang, Yanchen, 2017. "Who stays, who goes, who knows? A state-wide survey of child welfare workers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 110-117.
    10. Smith, Brenda D., 2005. "Job retention in child welfare: Effects of perceived organizational support, supervisor support, and intrinsic job value," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 153-169, February.
    11. Kim, Hyosu & Kao, Dennis, 2014. "A meta-analysis of turnover intention predictors among U.S. child welfare workers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(P3), pages 214-223.
    12. Lee, Joohee & Forster, Michael & Rehner, Tim, 2011. "The retention of public child welfare workers: The roles of professional organizational culture and coping strategies," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 102-109, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miller, J.Jay & Lee, Jacquelyn & Benner, Kalea & Shalash, Nada & Barnhart, Sheila & Grise-Owens, Erlene, 2018. "Self-compassion among child welfare workers: An exploratory study," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 205-211.
    2. Miller, J. Jay & Donohue-Dioh, Jessica & Niu, Chunling & Grise-Owens, Erlene & Poklembova, Zuzana, 2019. "Examining the self-care practices of child welfare workers: A national perspective," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 240-245.

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    Keywords

    Self-care; Child welfare;

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