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Social Work Under Pressure

How to Overcome Stress, Fatigue and Burnout in the Workplace
Regular price £24.99
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Stress, fatigue and burnout are serious problems in the social work profession. High case loads, staff shortages, budget cuts and the challenging nature of the job contribute to high levels of stress, and social workers can crack under the pressure.

This accessible book demonstrates how managers and practitioners can overcome workplace distress, fatigue and burnout by understanding the causes and implementing practical strategies. Part 1 outlines how stress, fatigue, burnout and trauma can be identified, how they impact upon social workers, and what strategies can help. Part 2 explores stress in particular settings, covering frontline practice, working with trauma, working with aggressive service users, bullying and violence in the workplace, and making mistakes. The book is rooted in the reality of everyday social work, incorporating the views and experiences of practising social workers.

This book is full of techniques and tips that will be invaluable to all social work managers and practitioners seeking to beat workplace stress overload and burnout.
  • Published: Jul 15 2011
  • Pages: 224
  • 226 x 158mm
  • ISBN: 9781849051163
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Press Reviews

  • Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work

    In Social work under pressure, Dr Kate van Heugten, an associate professor at the University of Canterbury, shows her skills as a scholar, researcher and writer. Most importantly, however, she effectively demonstrates that she is a social worker's social worker... As demonstrated by her comprehensive bibliography and her own extensive list of publications, there isn't much about social work stress that the author hasn't thought, read or researched about. Her writing is authoritative, but at the same time intensely personal and situational. She speaks of her own struggles as a mother, cancer survivor and academic. Her great compassion for those left vulnerable in the aftermath of life's vicissitudes is self-evident... Another useful feature that will keep social workers consulting this book is the evidencebased "toolkits" for coping that are also provided at the end of each chapter... This hopeful book has personally engaged me in a way that few books have. I have not only read it, but I have worked with it and I have applied what it said in my own circumstances. I am working with it still... The volume is a must have for any social worker's bookshelf. If you are a social worker who wants to see positive change result from the stress you are under right now, read this book.
  • Practice: Social Work in Action

    This text is an excellent resource for helping workers and managers to check and overcome workplace stress. I would recommend this text to social workers and managers in any area of practice, but specifically those who work in child protection. This text could also be a wonderful resource for student social workers in preparation for practice.
  • Practice: Social Work in Action

    The toolkits and checklists are an excellent resource for the reader to reflect on and apply the concepts in the book to their everyday practice... This text is an excellent resource for helping workers and managers to check and overcome workplace stress... This text could also be a wonderful resource for student social workers in preparation for practice.
  • British Journal of Community Justice

    This book makes a significant contribution to understanding the stressors and strains experience by contemporary social workers and emphasises the importance of having appropriate organisational support.
  • Rostrum

    I'M NOT sure whether there are already a number of books written on this subject but no matter, at least there is one. If there is on topic about which there requires to be a forensic inquiry into its origins, then it is stress in the social work profession... This is a readable and worthy book which should be core reading for students, experienced workers and managers.
  • IASW (Irish Association of Social Workers)

    ... this is the first book that I have come across that explores the emotional stresses and pressures of social work as a main topic or issue. In Social Work Under pressure Dr van Heugten presents issues of workplace stress in social work in the context of theories of "stress" and stress management in an easily understood and very readable way... This book will be of interest to managers, practitioners and social work students alike. Social Work Under Pressure introduces and explores in an accessible manner a number of the elements that are fundamental to a successful and long career in social work.
  • Fighting Monsters' blog

    van Heugten('s)... discussion of the increased stressors relating to bureaucratic tasks and a lack of control seem to have put a lot of my personal experiences of working as a frontline social worker into a context that made me able to understand better where my own reactions were 'coming from'... I'd definitely recommend this book to managers, practitioners and social work students as it introduces a lot of elements that are fundamental to a successful and long career in social work and social care as well as health services... It is easy to read and there is a good use of quotations and personal experiences, including the authors' own experiences of personal stresses.
  • Professor Cary L. Cooper, CBE, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University Management School, UK

    This book highlights the stressful situations confronted by those at the frontline of society's problems. It is a must read for those concerned about the health and wellbeing of practitioners of this most important occupation, social work.
  • Professor Steven M. Shardlow, Chair of Social Work, University of Salford, UK

    This is an important book: social workers have to deal with increased stress in society - the fallout from the "financial tsunami of 2008". Kate van Heugten brings a sophisticated understanding of the challenge and immediacy of stresses that are experienced by social workers. Building on this expertise she locates the idea of stress theoretically at the interplay of the personal and professional to explore modes of stress management.
  • Paula McFadden, Queens University Belfast

    China Journal of Social Work
    The authors should be congratulated for bringing together the experiences of 14 social workers and blending this into an accessible resource for other social workers to draw from... The view was that the accounts of the social workers quoted in the book 'normalized' her own experiences and if she had access to this resource at the time of her own experience it would have helped her significantly to cope. The book, therefore, adds an important and valuable contribution to social workers who are experiencing similar issues and perhaps will assist individuals to manage their health and well-being in a more informed way due to the provision of education about positive coping and strategies, and how to address their workplace issues in advance of irretrievable decisions around job exit... the voices of other social workers' experiences are also very valuable to the target audience... the author is deserving of warm congratulations for the production of an important text to support social work practitioners to develop their coping abilities to manage their well-being and stay healthy at work, and thus improve service user experiences of safe and quality social work.