Journal Article

What Can Be Done to Promote the Retention of Social Workers? A Systematic Review of Interventions

Caroline M. Webb and John Carpenter

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 42, issue 7, pages 1235-1255
Published in print October 2012 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcr144
What Can Be Done to Promote the Retention of Social Workers? A Systematic Review of Interventions

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There are long-standing concerns in many developed countries about high workforce turnover within social work and the associated negative impact on service users and agencies. While much research has focused on establishing the antecedents to turnover and retention, less attention has been given to establishing the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce undesirable turnover. A systematic review of research in social work, teaching and nursing identified and appraised the evidence. Of the 699 unique references identified, fifteen studies were included in this review (all but one from the USA); the lack of consistency in definitions and outcome measurement precluded meta-analysis, but twelve studies were deemed to be of sufficient quality for narrative synthesis. In general, interventions addressing organisational and administrative factors (rather than individual employee factors) produced stronger effects, reinforcing current policies in England and previous research into the determinants of turnover.

Keywords: Retention; turnover; social workers; interventions; systematic review

Journal Article.  7042 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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