Journal Article

Why Are They Leaving? Factors Affecting Intention to Leave among Social Workers in Child Welfare

Pia Tham

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 37, issue 7, pages 1225-1246
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online June 2006 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Why Are They Leaving? Factors Affecting Intention to Leave among Social Workers in Child Welfare

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This article addresses a topic that has not previously been researched in Sweden, i.e. factors associated with the intention of social workers to leave their place of work. A comprehensive questionnaire was distributed to 309 social workers in child welfare in the County of Stockholm (drop-out rate: 3 per cent). The study comprised a total of forty-two workgroups. All the social workers handling referrals and investigating the situation of children and youth in these areas were included. One of the most striking results was that although 54 per cent of the social workers had been at their current workplace for two years or less, 48 per cent intended to leave their jobs. A logistic regression analysis showed that the variable of greatest importance for the intention to leave the workplace was lack of human resource orientation within the organization, i.e. the extent to which personnel are rewarded for a job well done, feel well taken care of and where management is interested in their health and well-being. A final conclusion of this study is that when measuring the impact of different aspects of work tasks compared with some aspects of organizational culture, it becomes clear that the latter seem to be most important in this respect.

Keywords: social workers; child welfare; working conditions; intention to leave

Journal Article.  9942 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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