Managing intense work demands: how child protection workers navigate their professional and personal lives. By: Chan, Xi Wen; Fan, Shea Xuejiao; Snell, Darryn. Community, Work & Family. Apr2021, Vol. 24 Issue 2, p208-225.

Child protection workers remain understudied in research on ‘frontline’ workers, even though they are often exposed to the traumatic circumstances of their clients’ lives on top of their intense workload, tight deadlines and day-to-day crisis management. Extensive evidence has shown that both clients’ needs and work demands combine to diminish child protection workers’ well-being, leading them to experience immense stress, burnout and decreased morale, ultimately compelling them to leave their jobs. Our qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews of child protection workers (N = 15) in Australia examines how child protection workers navigate their daily work and non-work lives. Analysis of the interviews revealed unique contextual characteristics about child protection workers’ professional and personal boundaries and the strategies they adopt to navigate their work and non-work roles and responsibilities. Our study’s findings call for more assistance and resources for child protection workers with implications for their managers and organisations.