The cost of caring: the professional quality of life of child social workers (Camille Verheyden, Frank Van Holen, Stephanie Chartier & Johan Vanderfaeillie)
Several international studies show that child social workers are at increased risk of developing burnout and secondary traumatic stress. Causes are: working daily with vulnerable children and families, confronting others’ traumas, the many demands and challenges of the job and, the high workload. In addition, the sector is currently struggling with high dropout rates and staff turnover. This context forms a threat to the professional quality of life of child social workers resulting in negative consequences for the child social workers themselves, the persons they accompany and the organisations where they are employed. To date, there are few results available on the professional quality of life (burnout, secondary traumatic stress, compassion satisfaction) of child social workers in Europe and there are none for Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia) so far. To gain insight into this, we investigated the professional quality of life of child social workers in Flanders and Wallonia. Camille Verheyden and Johan Vanderfaeillie will share their preliminary findings from their study.
Camille Verheyden is a PhD-student at the Department Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Her research focuses on family foster care , child abuse and neglect, and the professional quality of life of youth care professionals. https://researchportal.vub.be/en/persons/camille-verheyden
Johan Vanderfaeillie is a Professor at the Department Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He is doing research into child welfare issues, with foster care and child maltreatment as core subjects. He studies all kinds of issues regarding foster care: breakdown, reunification, decision making in foster care and interventions for foster parents. In addition, he also studies the short- and long-term outcomes of foster placements. His research into child maltreatment focuses on the detection and reporting of child abuse and neglect, and the outcomes of interventions aiming at preventing child abuse and neglect. https://researchportal.vub.be/en/persons/johan-vanderfaeillie
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