Independent Children’s Social Work Practice Pilots: Evaluating Practitioners’ Job Control and Burnout



To investigate whether a new model that delegates some out-of-home care services from the public to the private and not-for-profit sectors in England enhances practitioners’ job control and stress levels.


A 3-year longitudinal matched-control evaluation examined changes in Karasek demand-control model and Maslach burnout levels of 2,050 staff working in five social work practice (SWP) pilots, their host local authorities and comparable sites.


Mixed-effect models indicated no significant difference in main outcomes among SWP staff when compared to staff in host and comparison local authorities. There were notable differences in relation to job insecurity and social support.


The minimal effects observed may relate to the diverse nature of SWPs with no specific work model predominating.

Hussein, S., Manthorpe, J., Ridley, J., Austerberry, H., Ferrelly, N., Larkins, C., Bilson, A. and Stanley, N. (2013) Independent Children’s Social Work Practice Pilots: Evaluating Practitioners’ Job Control and Burnout, Research on Social Work Practice. 24(2): 224-234.

Image credit: Kelly Sikkema –

+ posts

Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Professor Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.