Organisational Factors, Job Satisfaction and Intention to Leave Among Social Workers

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Satisfaction with different organisational elements and aspects of work contributes markedly to overall levels of job satisfaction and intention to leave. For newly qualified social workers (NQSWs), especially immediately after graduation, self-perceived competence and their confidence in their educational preparation are also important. This article reports on a longitudinal study following 280 social work students into social work employment in England using data collected as students and six months after graduation. We focus on their experiences as NQSWs, thus only including those working in social work jobs, reporting the relative importance of their satisfaction with different work elements, such as supervision and job engagement. These are used to construct a model of NQSWs’ overall satisfaction and intentions of leaving their social work jobs. The model incorporates NQSWs’ perceptions of how well their degree courses prepared them for their current social work jobs in addition to personal, organisational and specific role characteristics. Using statistical techniques of factor analysis and regression modelling we highlight the complexities of how job satisfaction is constructed and we argue that the data reveal the importance of team support and self-efficacy in relation to whether social workers are thinking about leaving their current social work jobs.

Hussein, S., Moriarty, J. Stevens, M., Sharpe, E. & Manthorpe, J. (2014) Organisational factors, job satisfaction and intention to leave among newly qualified social workers in England, Social Work Education, An International Journal. 33 (3): 381-396.

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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.