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avatar for Paula McFadden

Paula McFadden

Queens University Belfast
Lecturer in Social Work
Belfast Northern Ireland
Dr McFadden has practiced in child protection and older people’s social work and recently has been an integrated services delivery manager for older people and vulnerable adults in Northern Ireland. The research into resilience in front line child protection social work was inspired by awareness of the impact this occupation had on individuals and the delivery of the service due to pressures on front line practice resulting in high staff turnover and inexperience in child protection teams. Paula has taught for many years in social work and counselling and has also trained as an integrated therapist. Good self-care and self-awareness underpins the work of counsellors and therapists and is an ethical principle for best practice (BACP). Dr McFadden argues that this ethical principle needs to become the new ‘mind-set’ within all helping services to support individual staff and help them to build ‘resilience habits’. Dr McFadden adds that the presence or absence of organizational factors such as workload pressures, bureaucracy, supervision and management as well as peer support are intrinsically linked to resilience or burnout. Contextual features including organizational culture and climate therefore requires careful examination in relation to providing employees with the necessary support to function in their role.