Using resilience to reconceptualise child protection workforce capacity
Russ, Erica, Lonne, Bob, & Darlington, Yvonne (2009) Using resilience to reconceptualise child protection workforce capacity. Australian Social Work: The Journal of the Association of Social Workers, 62(3), pp. 324-338.
Current approaches to managing and supporting staff and addressing turnover in child protection predominantly rely on deficit-based models that focus on limitations, shortcomings, and psychopathology. This article explores an alternative approach, drawing on models of resilience, which is an emerging field linked to trauma and adversity. To date, the concept of resilience has seen limited application to staff and employment issues. In child protection, staff typically face a range of adverse and traumatic experiences that have flow-on implications, creating difficulties for staff recruitment and retention and reduced service quality. This article commences with discussion of the multifactorial influences of the troubled state of contemporary child protection systems on staffing problems. Links between these and difficulties with the predominant deficit models are then considered. The article concludes with a discussion of the relevance and utility of resilience models in developing alternative approaches to child protection staffing issues.
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