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ERIC Number: ED455052
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Personal and Professional Adjustment of Social Workers to Rural and Remote Practice: Implications for Improved Retention.
Lonne, Bob; Cheers, Brian
High turnover of rural practitioners is common among a range of human service professions in Australia. A longitudinal study surveyed 123 newly appointed rural social workers who had relocated to their new rural positions, using the same questionnaire every 3 months during an 18-month period. The study aimed to investigate rural recruitment and retention difficulties, examine culture shock and its impact on retention, and determine the applicability of a proposed model of adjustment. Variables included satisfaction with rural lifestyle, with current rural community, and with job; perceived well-being; perceived level of coping; productivity level; sense of belonging to community; state anxiety level; stressfulness of life events; and perceived level of depression. Respondents' mean expected duration of employment was 24 months, but the mean actual length of stay was 16.1 months. Premature departure and poor retention were related to employer-controlled factors. Consistent with the proposed model of adjustment, most variables displayed a U curve indicating an initial period of decreased well-being followed by increases in satisfaction. Recommendations are concerned with recruitment strategies, retention incentives, preservice preparation for generalist and community embedded practice, inservice training related to orientation of rural appointees, and improved personnel management practices. These findings are relevant to other human-services professionals such as teachers. (Contains 21 references.) (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia