Social workers tell us how it really is, lets go beyond the rhetoric of resilience to establish the reality in practice today ….

‘Resilience’ in social work practice

Research in relation to resilience and social work practice, consistently refers to the idea of an innate strength or capacity available to humans enabling recovery from trauma and stress and the development of an approach to practice that seeks to identify and strengthen individual ‘coping strategies’. These interconnections have become acknowledged as a central organising feature and a ‘resilience framework’ has emerged over the past decade, aimed at guiding social workers in applying resilience in their practice with those who require services, whilst demonstrating resilience themselves to manage the day to day complexities of practice.

‘Mind the gap’- research into resilience

Whilst quantitative research findings present resilience as a viable, and relevant framework, for working with users of services, there is limited research into social workers’ experiences of the place and meaning of resilience in their day to day world of practice.

The development of  resilience has come to be seen as a method of enabling social workers to cope with the everyday stresses of their work.

However, is this possible and has this been effective?

The focus in this context appears to be on the individualising of resilience, locating responsibility for resilience with the individual, at the exclusion of exploring wider structural factors which may impact on ‘resilience’ in practice.

We believe social workers’ experience of resilience, as both a tool for practice and a professional requisite, is vital in understanding the place and meaning of resilience in professional practice today.

This research aims to listen to your experiences and build on this to develop an informed approach to understanding the place and meaning of resilience in contemporary social work practice.

What next?

If you are registered social worker with the HCPC , or with an alternative professional body if you are not a UK national or live and/or work outside of the UK, we would like to hear from you. There is a short online questionnaire you can complete, which asks about your role and your understanding of  ‘resilience’ and experience of its application in your professional role.

All responses to this initial survey are anonymous.

If you would like to be involved click here

The research team look forward to hearing from you; Di Galpin, Annastasia Maksymluk & Andy Whiteford.

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