In today’s context of cutbacks, outsourcing, and limited government funding for programs and services for the public, frontline social workers along with other helping professionals are expected to do much more with much less than before. In managing competing work demands including direct client care, documentation, liaison with collaborating agencies, staff team-building, public outreach, community development, research, training, etc, while maintaining quality of care as well as self-care, are frontline social workers able to not “procrastinate” with certain tasks as others are prioritized? Through my work experience, it is impossible to effectively manage all of these competing demands at all times, which prompts us to make tough decisions about what priorities take precedence.
Attempting to choose among competing work demands on a daily basis, amid news of ever decreasing resources, does not bode well for stress levels of frontline social workers. Especially given the nature of work with its ever-present risks to clients should these decisions result in adverse outcomes, which is why prevalence of burnout is astronomical. …
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