Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Michael Chovanec

Abstract

This qualitative study examined the risk and supportive factors of burnout among school social workers in the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) setting. Data was collected through semi-structured standardized interviews with 7 licensed school social workers currently working in this area. Theme coding methods were used to inductively analyze codes in the data and to find common themes from the interviews. Themes that emerged were separated into six categories: personal, organizational, and job structural risks factors, and personal, organizational, and job structural supportive factors. The majority of the findings of this study were consistent with previous research. Other themes that were not consistent with previous research were found. Those themes included the importance of having a flexible work style, the impact of diminishing resources for families, and organizational support related to maintaining licensure requirements. Implications for this study suggest ideas for future research in this area, with hopes to enhance school social work education, research, and training.

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