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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Project: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Barragan, Armando


Public child welfare workers are notorious for having a high stress, high demand, low paying career. Due to their work environment, they are prone to burn out. Burn out has been identified as a reason for the decrease of well-being in social workers. There have been many discussions about how burn out affects a social worker individually.

This study is focused on how burn out effects public child welfare workers carry out case plans and investigations. This study explores if burn out effects the effectiveness a worker of being the bridge between their clients and their success in the child welfare system. The interviews showed three themes that were mentioned throughout 10 complete interviews. These were burn out and its effect on effectiveness, avoidance, agency and burn out and relationships. These themes showed how burn out effects effectiveness and how the agency adds on to the feeling of burn out in public child welfare workers. Exploring these results led to the understanding that burn our has an effect on all aspects on a public child welfare worker. Not only is burn out effecting the individual, it is also affecting clients being served. Burn out needs to be addressed and targeted at a larger scale to help families and children receive the most effective service.