Occupational stress among social workers at Francistown City, Botswana
Keywords:burnout, occupational stress, social work, social worker, Botswana
Occupational stress is a harmful physical and emotional response that occurs when job demands do not match individuals’ capabilities, resulting in employees’ psychological state deviating from normal functioning. Occupational stress is a challenge in organizations and professions as it impacts job performance and the quality of service provided. A qualitative study was conducted to explore factors influencing occupational stress among social work practitioners in Francistown and the effects of occupational stress on social work practitioners and service delivery. The study was guided by the ecological systems theory. Fourteen social work practitioners employed by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development were purposively selected to participate in the study. Thematic analysis was conducted to determine the study themes. Factors identified as influencing occupational stress among social work practitioners include poor working environment, client violence, and practitioner’s family responsibilities. The effects alluded to include poor health and poor service delivery. The findings of the study call on the employers of social work practitioners to ensure a supportive and safe work environment with the potential for professional development as a way to buffer the effects of occupational stress.