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Reducing burnout in Social Workers’ Caseload

November 12, 2021

Social work is a demanding occupation. Day-to-day job tasks can range drastically–they file paperwork, they advocate, they intervene, they do whatever they can to help the clients they serve. Juggling so many roles can be challenging, especially when social workers have large caseloads, requiring organization and quick transitions among cases and families. Without proper support, social workers may experience burnout, impacting job performance and turnover. While it’s not always possible to reduce a social worker’s caseload, providing tools that help social workers organize case data with ease can minimize the risk of burnout.

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.
(source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm)

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.

CaseWorthy helps social workers manage their caseloads with ease, reducing caseload strain without compromising client care

Sometimes, it’s not possible to cut caseloads for social workers. But social work nonprofits and government agencies can reduce caseload strain.

CaseWorthy is a flexible case management system built for nonprofits, and benefits employees across the nonprofit. With CaseWorthy, boots-on-the-ground social workers can easily perform intakes, dictate case notes, pull reports, and more.

With time-saving features built-in, CaseWorthy can minimize the amount of time social workers spend on menial tasks so they can focus on the people in front of them. And since the data social workers input is accessible organization-wide, data administrators, grant writers, and the executive team can access that information whenever it’s needed.

CaseWorthy is totally customizable, so no matter what kinds of clients your organization works with, we’re here to help. We’d love to have the opportunity to learn more about you and the challenges your staff might be facing.

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