Received Nov 26; Accepted Jul 7.
Intensity of work Organizational constraints View Large Many of these factors only consider work environment characteristics. While work environment factors are significant and need to be addressed to enhance job satisfaction and decrease the turnover of qualified social workers Gleason-Wynn and Mindel,job satisfaction has been shown to also have connections to overall life satisfaction.
A possible reason may be the mediating impact of core self-evaluations Rode, Together, both may influence the overall subjective well-being of individuals.
But, with the exception of one exploratory article Graham et al. As a corrective, the present article provides compelling evidence that happy social workers are positively influenced by available practice opportunities associated with the profession, realising professional boundaries and limitations, specific practices that are associated with the profession of social work, social work principles and respondents' perception of their professional self.
Methods The following research is based on one-to-one interviews conducted in with social work practitioners in Alberta who were registered with the ACSW. The province of Alberta has nearly 5, practising social workers who are registered with and regulated by the ACSW, under restricted scopes of practice defined by the province's Health Professions Act.
To maintain registration, each social worker pays an annual fee and completes professional development credit requirements. Social workers operate at many levels of the government, in many provincial departments, and in nongovernmental and civic agencies across Alberta.
The size and nature of the profession within Alberta make this province an excellent template for considering SWB in the social work profession. The province of Alberta has a population of over 3.
Participants were purposefully selected from among respondents scoring the highest SWB of a pool of surveyed in on subjective well-being in the social work workplace.
Contact was made with a purposive sampling of the twenty-five highest-scoring respondents on the basis of SWB. From that cohort, a total of thirteen respondents agreed to provide interviews eleven female and two male.
Of the 13 participants, all held university degrees in social work, the majority were over the age of fifty, there was a wide range of years of practice, respondents worked in government, non-profit and private practice, and all but one worked in urban settings.
With regard to recruitment of participants, while completing the initial survey instrument, a part of the informed consent process involved asking respondents if they would be willing to consider participating in a follow-up interview.
If potential respondents were willing to participate in such an interview, they were asked to fill in the contact information at the end of the survey instrument. Respondents scoring the highest levels of SWB were then contacted based on the information they provided.
For purposes of ethics certification, recruitment of these respondents followed a telephone script. All procedures and practices related to the research project were approved by the University of Calgary's Conjoint Faculties Ethics Review Board.
Data collection utilised standard ethnographic techniques Patton, ; Seidman, ; Holstein and Gubrium, A member of the research team conducted interviews either in person or over the telephone depending on the availability of the research participant.
Interviews lasted approximately two hours. Following a semi-structured open-ended interview guide, respondents were asked questions that sought to identify aspects of their personal life, work life and the profession of social work that have an impact on their overall SWB.
With regard to professional factors that impact on SWB, respondents were specifically asked: What aspects of the profession impact on your overall subjective well-being? What aspects of the social work profession ensure that your subjective well-being is provided for? Interviews were digitally recorded and then transcribed.
Utilising the transcriptions and the research notes throughout the interview process, data were analyzed using qualitative methods.
Analytic induction and constant comparison strategies see Glasser and Strauss, ; Goetz and LeCompte, were utilised to detect patterns within the transcribed interviews in relation to personal, work-related and professional factors that were described as impacting on respondents' SWB.
Finally, following this process, data were then translated into working hypotheses that were refined until all instances of contradictions, similarities and differences were explained, thus increasing the dependability and consistency of the findings.
All members of the research team collaboratively worked on this stage of research to maintain the credibility criteria of the study. Respondents indentified several categories in which the profession has direct impact on their overall SWB.
The availability of practice opportunities, having a clear understanding of professional boundaries and limitations, specific practices associated with the profession of social work, principles associated with the profession and the perception they had of their professional self were all identified by respondents as impacting on their SWB.
These categories are discussed in turn. Findings Available practice opportunities impact on my SWB Different roles in practice Some research has delved into how social work's multiple roles in practice impact on practitioners see, e.
The scope of practice opportunities i. This available range has been found to challenge traditional conceptualisations of the meaning of work for social work professionals Mor, Some respondents in this study saw different roles in practice as a significant contributor to higher levels of SWB.
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