Methods: The CNSAR conducted a national online survey of 1057 social workers in 2015 modeled on the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) survey of licensed social workers in the United States. CNSAR obtained permission from NASW to use the survey, and made appropriate modifications to the Romanian context and translated it to the Romanian language. The survey had 73 required items, including sections on demographics, education, employment, roles, tasks, services provided, work environment, satisfaction, stress and future plans. A stratified sampling strategy based on county size was used, with branch presidents of CNSAR distributing the survey throughout the country. Data and comparative analyses were used to explore demographic factors, and logistic regression was used to explore how demographics, burnout, self-efficacy and salary were correlated with social workers’ future plans.
Results: Romanian social workers skewed young (82.8% under age 45), female (86.4%) and from the Romanian ethnic group (91.2%). While Romania has a large rural population, social workers primarily practiced in urban areas (88.6%). Social workers worked in similar roles and tasks as social workers in the United States, and had fairly high levels of job satisfaction. However, over 20.5% of social workers indicated that they were considering leaving the field in the next two years. Those with higher income (OR=.702, p=.000) had 42% lower odds that they planned to leave the field within two years, while those with burnout had over twice the odds they planned to leave the field (OR=2.56, p=.000). Men also had higher odds than women (OR=1.81, p=.000) to be planning to leave the field.
Conclusions: While Romanian social workers are highly educated and have fairly high levels of job satisfaction, over a fifth are planning to leave the field of social work within two years. Attention needs to be placed on retaining social workers, with a focus on raising income and addressing factors that affect burnout.