“Exhausted all the time, irritable, snappy.”
That was the impact of caseload stress on the life of one local government social worker. It is not an uncommon tale.
A Guardian survey of 3,700 people in public services and the voluntary sector has found that stress levels are high, with 93% experiencing some level of stress. In local government, 999 people took the survey, including many social workers and other social care professionals. It is their comments they tell the story of increasing stress due to fewer resources, increased workloads and reduced staff. One social worker said that “the pressures we are facing at the moment” meant stress was “inevitable”.
In 2015, another survey, set to gauge the stress levels on social workers, found that 80% said that stress was affecting their ability to do their job. The top three reasons listed for the stress?
Spiraling caseloads, few resources and mounting responsibilities.
It is thought that one out of every 10 social workers would consider leaving the profession because of the stress they face.
Managing Your Caseload: Can It Be Done?
Large caseload volume and excessive workloads in most states can make it difficult for caseworkers to serve families effectively. Administrative requirements for each case are on the rise, and complex cases require intensive interventions, which further add to case workloads.
Social workers face juggling volumes of work, excessive back and forth to case interviews, and emotional overwhelm from the nature of the cases they are given. Job stress, paperwork burden, and inefficient tools are key factors that cause social workers to burn out. What’s worse, when one worker leaves, each that remains has to pick up the pieces, causing even more stress and strain.
Manageable caseload and workloads can make a real difference in a worker’s ability to engage families, deliver quality services, stay with the agency, and ultimately achieve positive outcomes for children and families. In fact, 55% of managers say better systems and easier paperwork processes will help reduce turnover.
But how do we manage our caseloads in order to decrease the pressures of social work as a profession?
Inquire IQ3 Can Break The Burnout Cycle
When it comes to tackling your caseload stress, we considered what the priorities would need to be.
Decreasing paperwork and time spent on note taking and reporting seemed to be one of the highest priorities of social workers we spoke to. Another solution that was high on the list of needs was making the process more efficient by creating a way for client interaction to flow more effectively.
What we came up with is simple, yet extremely effective. Inquire IQ3 introduces a way for social workers to interact with their clients, reduces paperwork, allows for remote interviews, and accurately and securely manage and store documents, which will inevitably reduce stress and increase productivity.
Think of Inquire IQ3 as hiring 5 highly efficient assistants but paying them less than salary of one. The objective behind the development of this technology is to make the workload lesser for all social workers and their agencies, and also to get daily tasks done easier, quickly, and more effectively.
This technology can handle tasks that would have otherwise cost you more resources and more money.
For instance, you can schedule and remotely conduct interviews, record and store files, and even interact with clients remotely. You can now focus on the core aspect of assisting the families involved in your cases while Inquire IQ3 gets the job done on other fronts.
To read more about how Inquire helps Social Service Agencies, VISIT THIS PAGE.