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

Tham, Pia
October 2007
British Journal of Social Work;Oct2007, Vol. 37 Issue 7, p1225
Academic Journal
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 welt 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.


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