Associate Professor Nalini Negi (shown here), along with PhD student Patrice Forrester, MSW alumna Marilyn Calderon and Katherine Esser, and Danielle Parrish of Baylor University are authors of new research published in the journal Health and Social Care in the Community. The work is titled "We are at Full Capacity: Social care workers persisting through work‐related stress in a new immigrant settlement context in the United States."
Cities without a prior established history of Latina/o migration are experiencing the fastest rate of growth in new immigrants in the United States (Wainer, A tale of two cities (and a town): Immigrants in the Rust Belt, 2013; Lichter & Johnson, Immigrant gateways and Hispanic migration to new destinations. International Migration Review, 43, 496, 2009). These new immigrant settlement cities experience the challenge of adapting their social care context to become more responsive to the needs of immigrants. Yet as cities and social care organisations struggle to keep up with the “lag” time in the availability of culturally and linguistically responsive resources and services, social care providers often work in conditions of scarcity in a social care context that is often lacking in its ability to fully respond to the needs of immigrants. Literature indicates that such conditions of scarcity can lead to work related stress, burn‐out, and can have a negative impact on the quality of services delivered by social care workers. Yet little is known regarding social care providers’ motivations and responses to work stress; and how providers may positively respond and persist in their jobs despite such stressors. This study conducted in the new immigrant settlement city of Baltimore from 2014 to 2016, utilises semi‐structured interviews to qualitatively explore the personal motivational beliefs, workplace and demographic factors associated with buffering stress and frustration among social care workers in a new immigrant settlement city (N = 29). Findings highlight important motivational and work‐related factors that appear to minimise the impact of stress and frustration for social care providers and can be used in the development of burn‐out interventions as well as improving quality of services for vulnerable populations such as, immigrants, especially in low‐resource new immigrant settlement contexts.