The Motivations behind Child Welfare Work

Samuel J Dickman

Abstract


This report seeks to explore the findings of a qualitative research study concerning the motivations behind child welfare work. Child welfare is a major field within the social work profession that demands a great deal of expertise and effort from workers. Professionals employed as case managers within the child welfare field are held accountable for a wide variety of social work roles, often placing these individuals at risk of emotional trauma and high levels of work-related stress. Due to this, workers who remain in the field for extensive periods of time often experience strong sensations of purpose relative to their work. Our study found that child welfare caseworkers were motivated by altruism and a deep desire to improve the lives of their clients.  They were also kept motivated by the successes that came from time to time. While trials seem to be experienced on a regular basis, child welfare caseworkers generally found their work to be a positive presence within the families they serve. Further research is needed to expound upon the findings of this study.

 

Keywords


child welfare, motivation, altruism, case manager, secondary trauma

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