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

Richa Dhanju

Abstract

The issue of social worker burnout impacts the growth and sustainability of the social work industry. The purpose of this project was to determine if there is a connection between the amount of time as a social worker and level of burnout. Mailing addresses for 150 Minnesota social workers were randomly selected and mailed a survey. The survey included the Burnout Measurement Short (BMS) questionnaire, an established self-administered burnout assessment tool, and other pertinent burnout related questions. Data from 43 completed surveys were entered into a spreadsheet. The data was organized and analyzed using Minitab to perform ANOVA calculations. The project’s findings demonstrated that no correlation was found between the length of time as a social worker and amount of burnout. Other factors such as employer and client type appeared to have correlations. The project also introduced the topic of identifying the number of social workers who left the profession due to burnout. Initial results suggest that social workers who personally knew multiple former social workers who left the profession due to burnout are themselves more burned out. These findings suggest that all social workers, regardless of the number of years of experience, should receive anti-burnout support and resources. Additional research should be conducted to accurately determine the extreme cases of burnout among social workers that result in quitting the profession.

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