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Dealing with Stress tackles the complicated problems with strain and pressure in social paintings. It covers facets of study and conception yet its major concentration is on perform - the sensible program of an educated method of pressure administration. It offers information for managers and practitioners and promotes a good, yet life like, method of dealing with the pressures of an career which offers with human distress, loss, affliction, oppression and deprivation. In doing this, it takes account of the dilemmas, conflicts and tensions inherent within the social paintings position and the political and organisational contexts during which they happen.

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Formal support is therefore a very significant area for managers. In effect, such support is doubly important, for without it, social workers will not only be less well-equipped to cope with the inherent pressures of the job, they will also experience such a lack of support as constituting a significant pressure in itself. Therefore, we can see that there is no neutral ground for managers in terms of formal support. If a manager is not helping, then he or she is surely hindering, as a lack of formal support is likely to be interpreted in terms of the following: • a lack of security or 'safety-net' • a feeling of being undervalued Sources of Stress 33 • a generally low level of morale • a possible resentment of managers 'not earning their pay' When the actions or attitudes of managers contribute to producing such a situation, the level of pressure is increased, rather than decreased.

38 per cent of the social workers in our study reported that: 'My line manager could provide better quality supervision' and these workers were more likely to report job-related distress. The slogan 'People Matter' will therefore remain an empty cliche if stress and stress management are not high on both the management and professional practice agendas. This raises a number of practical points for social work staff who are seeking the most effective means of dealing with stress. We shall return to, and highlight, many of these issues in each of the following chapters.

This last point is particularly relevant for child protection workers, given the high media profile of such work. The existence and impact of burnout needs to be acknowledged as it is clearly something both practitioners and managers would wish to eradicate. 1 Aled had worked in the same team for eleven years since first qualifying as a social worker. In the early stages of his career, he had been very outspoken and less than tactful in his criticism of the area management team's running of the office.

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