Research has been released showing how Social workers’ mental wellbeing and quality of working life have deteriorated over the course of the pandemic.
The Health and Social Care Workforce Study (phase 3), covering May to July 2021, found over 2/3rds of social workers were more likely to feel overwhelmed, more than other health and social care professional groups.
As well as reporting being significantly more burnt out than earlier in the pandemic, Social Workers also reported that they were now more likely to use substances, self-blame, vent, and disengage behaviourally as a way of coping with the pressures of work.
Report co-author, Jill Manthorpe said “a long period of stress takes its toll” and that social workers found it harder to cope in the first half of 2021 compared to earlier in the pandemic because it was no longer seen as a “short-term” emergency.
National director of the British Association of Social Workers Northern Ireland, Carolyn Ewart said she was not surprised by the findings adding ““The increased complexity of the problems social workers are supporting people to overcome points to why they are more likely to feel overwhelmed than their healthcare colleagues.
And, more than anything, good social work is relationship-based, so it is no surprise that social workers reported they were struggling to do their job as effectively when working from at home because of a lack of face-to-face contact.”
Read the full report here.