Caseworker Perspectives: A Mixed-Methods Study of Motivation, Client Outcomes and Job Satisfaction in the Homelessness Sector

Girdham, Elise (2014). Caseworker Perspectives: A Mixed-Methods Study of Motivation, Client Outcomes and Job Satisfaction in the Homelessness Sector Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Girdham, Elise
Thesis Title Caseworker Perspectives: A Mixed-Methods Study of Motivation, Client Outcomes and Job Satisfaction in the Homelessness Sector
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-08
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Melissa Johnstone
Total pages 106
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary A significant challenge facing the homelessness sector in Australia is the recruitment and retention of a stable and qualified workforce. This is particularly important as workforce development has been identified as a national priority for improving homelessness services. Previous studies have identified that employee motivation is not only important for workers’ optimal functioning, but for organisation retention and effectiveness. The present thesis expands upon the limited research in the Australian homelessness sector by utilising a mixed-methods design, and the theoretical framework of Self-Determination Theory, to better understand: the motivations and experiences of caseworkers in the homelessness sector; what contributes to their motivations and how these factors relate to client and caseworker outcomes. Specifically, the qualitative analysis sought to investigate the underlying mechanisms of caseworker motivations, as well as how caseworker motivation translates their beliefs surrounding client outcomes, including the enablers and barriers to achieving positive client outcomes. Additionally, quantitative data examined the relationship between caseworker motivations and job satisfaction, and tested the hypothesis that more self-determined motivation would relate to higher job satisfaction. In depth interviews and surveys were conducted with 26 caseworkers employed by the Salvation Army in South-East Queensland. Results revealed that all caseworkers were autonomously motivated, and reported high job satisfaction. No difference in job satisfaction was found between the levels of autonomous motivation (intrinsic vs. integrated/identified). Participants emphasised that positive client outcomes extended beyond achieving housing. Multiple barriers and enablers to achieving positive client outcomes were identified. Implications and future research are discussed.
Keyword mixed methods
Motivation
client outcomes
job satisfaction
homelessness

 
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Created: Wed, 29 Apr 2015, 11:03:38 EST by Anita Whybrow on behalf of School of Psychology