Developing team resilience to prevent burnout in statutory residential care

Graham, Adrian and Killick, Campbell (2019) Developing team resilience to prevent burnout in statutory residential care. Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 18 (3). ISSN 1478-1840

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This study reports on the outcomes of 15 semi-structured interviews undertaken with managers employed by one Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Trust within the residential child care sector. The purpose of the research was to explore the concept of 'team resilience' as a method to prevent burnout and compassion fatigue amongst residential social workers and care workers. The findings show that high levels of support already exist, but recruitment, communication, supervision, team meetings, team development, reflective practice, resilient individuals, team ethos and management style are all factors that contribute to team resilience. Teams need to be acknowledged, valued and nurtured to make them more effective and resilient. The more a team spends time together and is permitted to grow together the more resilient it becomes. Strong internal dialogues and communication are key functions to a resilient team that ultimately promotes the quality of care for service users. Developing a team to be internally self-aware, with an ability to embrace change whilst acknowledging individual core strengths, provides a solid foundation for promoting team resilience. The article discusses how trust and a sense of team purpose can contribute to the development of cohesion and resilience.

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