Child Welfare Hours

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My presentation on the long and irregular work hours of child welfare workers. I presented this at the 2007 Annual Program Meeting (APM) of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

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Child Welfare Hours

  1. 1. The Extended & Irregular Work Hours of Child Welfare Workers on-call / after-hours workload Todd Stanfield, PhD, LCSW Union University Jackson, TN
  2. 2. my years as a child welfare worker what we know about retention / turnover occupational health literature other professions next steps for social work
  3. 3. MSW program Title IV-E traineeship field placement 2 years (research complete) federal consent decree Birmingham “primary” foster care
  4. 4. rotation schedule typical “day” supervisor’s role “comp time” help each other my resignation next job
  5. 5. 3.3 million referrals/reports nationwide in 2005 Child Maltreatment 2005 HHS - Children’s Bureau
  6. 6. 1,915,641 screened-in reports that were investigated Child Maltreatment 2005 HHS - Children’s Bureau
  7. 7. high turnover documented negative outcomes for families
  8. 8. preventable undesired turnover
  9. 9. < 2 years average length of employment -GAO 2003
  10. 10. annual discretionary grants targeted research effectiveness of strategies recruitment retention
  11. 11. 1974 to 2004 job satisfaction emotional exhaustion role overload/conflict/ stress reasonable workload
  12. 12. turnover effects cost time to train new workers poorer outcomes for families
  13. 13. turnover factors individual supervisory organizational
  14. 14. individual factors demographics burnout commitment education
  15. 15. top predictors burnout occupational commitment emotional exhuastion
  16. 16. caseload workload
  17. 17. work - home fit
  18. 18. “A one standard deviation increase in the measure of work–life balance increases the odds of retention by 59%”. -Smith 2006
  19. 19. work responsibilities intrude into one’s family and personal life (24/7) Ellet et al. (2007) - Georgia
  20. 20. 70 hours per week Ellet et al. (2007) - Georgia
  21. 21. after hours & unpredictable work interfere in personal & family life 53% 34% “highly problematic” “somewhat problematic” ranked 3rd behind “workloads too high” and “caseloads too high” APHSA 2005
  22. 22. occupational health literature
  23. 23. 2002 “organization of work” research needed on effects in specific professions “mandatory overtime” “unplanned overtime”
  24. 24. work hours work hours declining in Japan & most of Europe increasing in U.S. longest working hours of any of the wealthy industrialized countries
  25. 25. long & non-standard working hours stress accidents fatigue gastrointestinal disorders sleep disorders musculoskeletal disorders smoking mental illness sedentary negative work-to-family spillover cardiovascular disease
  26. 26. not so much quantity of time worked, but... patterning of that time intensity of work within that time potential for rest control the worker has over the time worked
  27. 27. national research agenda long work hours team hours worked predictability nights / weekends recovery time
  28. 28. other professions
  29. 29. Philadelphia Police Shift Rescheduling Program 1984 to 1988 Center for the Design of Industrial Schedules 177 in treatment / 199 in control cumulative sleep deprivation new schedule
  30. 30. Philadelphia Police Shift Rescheduling Program sleep quality alertness overall health accidents alcohol sleeping pills family/work satisfaction
  31. 31. “Tired Cops Study” 1996 to 2000 4 cities / different regions used eye-reaction measurement (FIT) Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index
  32. 32. “Tired Cops Study” 1 in 5 had impairment = BAC of .05% twice as high as factory workers highest ever seen in any occupational group
  33. 33. “Tired Cops Study” less fatigue reported by: less overtime less irregularity work-related sleep disruption
  34. 34. police officers NIJ NIOSH NIMH CDC
  35. 35. nurses research on fatigue / hours more errors patient safety six states limits on mandatory overtime
  36. 36. nurses 2,617 2 states musculoskeletal disorders
  37. 37. nurses MSDs increased with: longer work days less time between work mandatory overtime work on days off on-call work nights / weekends
  38. 38. doctors less REM sleep when on- call more errors in patient care when on-call more errors as number of hours increased recovery time many limits passed
  39. 39. sleep deprivation truck drivers airline pilots doctors nurses police officers
  40. 40. Social Work?
  41. 41. Next steps? Prevalence of on-call / after-hours work Measure effect of after- hour work on emotional exhaustion Measure effect of after- hour work on outcomes for families served
  42. 42. Next steps? OOW interventions that create separate after- hours workers Effectiveness research on those interventions Advocacy for limits being place on after-hour duties for “daytime” workers
  43. 43. Next steps? Clearly define the distinct components of “workload” Worker safety after hours Teach students the importance of being aware of their own limits Teach students how to professionally set clear boundaries on their time
  44. 44. your experiences?
  45. 45. Todd Stanfield Union University toddstanfield@gmail.com

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