AbstractsSocial Work


Burnout is an issue for social workers, which negatively impacts their mental and physical health. However, child welfare social workers may be at an increased risk for burnout compared to other professionals. Further, burnout plays a role in social worker employee turnover rates, which is costly to organizations, and negatively impacts the quality of care for the children. Research findings have shown mindfulness self-care to be effective in decreasing symptoms of burnout for social workers. However, it appears there is a gap in research, which examines the influence organizational factors have on employees??? capacity to engage in mindfulness self-care. The purpose of this qualitative instrumental case study was to examine the organizational factors that influence child welfare social workers??? capacity to engage in mindfulness self-care. A case study was conducted at a Mid-western non-profit agency that provided services to abused children. This agency had established a steering committee, in August of 2013, aimed at implementing a trauma informed care culture for both clients and employees. Employees engaging in mindfulness self-care were viewed as an important part of creating a trauma informed care environment. Data were collected from various sources in order to conduct a comprehensive examination of the case study. Findings showed that culture, leadership, policy and procedures, operational processes as well as strategic thinking, all influenced the social workers??? capacity to engage in mindfulness self-care. Findings from this study may add to the current research on mindfulness-based interventions for social work practice. Keywords: mindfulness, burnout, child welfare, social work, organizational factors