The demand for social workers continues to rise
Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 12% from 2020 to 2030 – faster than the average for all occupations.
Communities have been experiencing a greater need for the services social workers provide. On top of that, thousands of seasoned social workers are expected to retire in the next ten years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor estimates approximately 78,000 annual job openings for social workers throughout the decade.
The need is there. But social work is also famed for being a demanding line of work.
Burnout drastically impacts a social worker’s ability to perform, and their quality of life
Most social workers are exceptionally compassionate individuals who enter the field to make a difference where they can. Depending on what speciality a social worker chooses, they can expect to juggle an average of 10 to 30 cases at a time.
Social workers are coming under increased strain as workloads continue to grow, but funding and staffing aren’t rising to meet the need. This simultaneously applies extra pressure for current caseworkers and depresses the interest of potential candidates in the field of social work.
When social workers start to experience burnout, they may:
- Struggle with maintaining a work-life balance.
- Experience mental health challenges, such as anxiety or depression.
- Seek a new profession.
Minimizing burnout delivers better outcomes to clients and creates a better work environment for social workers.
Building relationships with clients is key to seeing them succeed. Although each client has a unique set of demands, reducing caseload strain makes it much easier to satisfy them. When social workers have a manageable caseload, they can:
- Give each client the time and focus they deserve.
- Feel more fulfilled at work.
- Reduce job turnover.
These factors can help organizations retain social workers, and most importantly, clients get to experience more engagement and better care coordination.