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Journal Article


Truter E, Fouche A. Health Soc. Care Community 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2020, John Wiley and Sons)






Child protection social workers (CPSWs) do critical work protecting vulnerable children. Given the demanding nature of this work, CPSWs are reportedly at great risk for negative outcomes, such as burnout and depression. Another outcome is often unsatisfactory service delivery by CPSWs, leaving vulnerable children exposed to continued maltreatment. Understanding how some CPSWs do well, despite the demanding nature of their work, is important to inform future interventions that could potentially promote CPSW resilience and improve CPSW service delivery. While some research on the resilience of CPSWs exists, very little is known about resilience in South African CPSWs. The aim of this qualitative study was to contribute to the ongoing conversation of CPSW resilience, by exploring resilience among CPSWs in Gauteng, South Africa. Participants shared their lived experiences of workplace adversity and resilience. In this paper, we report only on the findings related to their resilience, which was analysed using thematic analysis.

FINDINGS reveal that participants' resilience was informed by a safe and appealing space away from work; drawing strength from religion; relaxation and self-care as healing modalities; a passion for CPSW; the positive influence of personal background; supportive care systems; self-efficacy and personal agency; and a positive outlook. The resilience of these CPSWs, although dependent on supportive and responsive ecologies, was mostly self-directed since they appeared fundamentally accountable to procure support.

Language: en


qualitative research; child protection; coping and resilience; health and social work; health-seeking behaviour; safety of staff


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