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NCJ Number: 192221 Find in a Library
Title: Maintaining Front-Line Workers in Child Protection: A Case for Refocusing Supervision
Journal: Child Abuse Review  Volume:10  Issue:5  Dated:September-October 2001  Pages:323-335
Author(s): Judy A. Gibbs
Date Published: September 2001
Page Count: 14
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This qualitative study examined supervision and its impact on staff turnover in child protection work in Victoria, Australia.
Abstract: Information came from detailed interviews conducted in August and September 1998 with 22 child protection workers from 2 rural areas. Sampling was purposive; the research selected two groups of workers on the basis of length of employment. One group had worked in child protection for an average of 4 months; the other group had worked in child protection for an average of 3.3 years. Results indicated that the current model of supervision gave insufficient attention to the emotional intrusiveness of the work, to building resilience in workers, and to the implications of adult learning theory. Findings suggested the need to refocus supervision to move beyond task and encompass much of what was already known from the supervision literature. Thus, the supervisor can be regarded as a messenger who must send and receive messages to and from workers. What message the supervisor sends and how supervisors respond to what they receive are crucial if the goal is to retain front-line staff. A central message for supervisors to deliver is the value of individual workers to the organization. Findings also indicated the need for a basic shift in organizational priorities and an acceptance of the impact of anxiety on all those working in this area. 46 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile dependency and neglect
Index Term(s): Burnout syndrome; Child abuse detection; Child abuse investigations; Child protection services; Childcare worker casework; Job pressure; Personnel retention; Supervision; Supervisory training; Turnover rates; Victims in foreign countries; Victoria; Work attitudes
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