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What Can Be Done to Promote the Retention of Social Workers? A systematic review of interventions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1235-1255
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number7
DatePublished - 2012


There are long-standing concerns in many developed countries about high workforce turnover within social work, and the associated negative impact on service users and agencies. While much research has focused on establishing the antecedents to turnover and retention, less attention has been given to establishing the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce undesirable turnover. A systematic review of research in social work, teaching and nursing identified and appraised the evidence. Of the 699 unique references identified, 15 studies were included in this review (all but one from the USA); the lack of consistency in definitions and outcome measurement precluded meta-analysis, but 12 studies were deemed to be of sufficient quality for narrative synthesis. In general, interventions addressing organisational and administrative factors (rather than individual employee factors) produced stronger effects, reinforcing current policies in England and previous research into the determinants of turnover.

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Publisher: Oxford University Press Other: Advance Access



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