Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Janet Chang


Child welfare social workers have extremely demanding jobs, which may often lead to burnout and compassion fatigue. The purpose of this research study was to explore self-care methods implemented by child welfare social workers, the methods that work best for them and the ways in which these practices assist in preventing and reducing the risks of compassion fatigue and burnout. This research study also explored the ways in which child welfare social workers have been able to cope and prevent compassion fatigue and burnout. This research study utilized a qualitative, exploratory research approach. Face-to-face interviews with fifteen participants were taken place at the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) offices within Los Angeles County. These interviews took place at various times and days. One major key finding from this study was the need for improvement in organizational support. Another key finding was the importance of self-care when coping with the daily stressors in the workplace and the ways in which self-care provides an outlet for preventing compassion fatigue and burnout. Participants all had different forms of self-care that worked best for their own wellbeing. It was determined that self-care strategies effectiveness depended on each individual’s response to the approach. Determining the best ways for social workers to cope with traumatic experiences in the workplace allows for administration to strengthen policies, such as ongoing training and supervision, while also being aware of the signs that child welfare social workers may display when they are experiencing compassion fatigue and burnout.

Included in

Social Work Commons