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There is a growing literature investigating the association between coping and work stress among social workers. An area that remains under-researched is the association between work–family conflict and coping. The present study explored the coping strategies adopted by social workers in dealing with the competing demands emanating from their work and family domains. In a larger study involving 439 Australian social workers, we analyzed the responses to two open-ended questions that explored the challenges experienced by social workers in meeting their work and family demands, and the coping strategies they adopt to deal with these challenges. The findings confirm that social workers experience work–family conflict and they adopt several coping strategies to deal with it including support from supervisors and colleagues, cognitive reframing, timely communication, setting clear expectations, time management, job flexibility and developing personal hobbies. We discuss the implications of our findings for social work policy and practice.

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Journal Article

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