Professional impairment occurs when something in the professional's life interferes with their ability to perform their job to the best of their ability, sometimes in a manner that can be unethical. Types of impairment include self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, maladaptive coping skills, addictions of any kind, unresolved grief, eating disorders, mental health (depression, anxiety, etc), trauma (including vicarious), compassion fatigue, and burnout. This is not an exhaustive list. Unfortunately, this is an under served area of need in helping professions, especially social work. Professional impairment does exist, though it is difficult to measure it's prevalence. You should never feel afraid or ashamed for needing help! It is far better to seek help before you or clients are adversely affected.
The information provided on this webpage is for all professionals, not just the members of our professional association. We recognize the need for distributing this information and resources across all helping professions. NASW-NC Works to promote the social work profession in its entirety, not just those who are members. If you are interested in membership, you can go to "Join/Renew" above or click here to view a full list of the benefits to out members.
- Burned Out and At Risk – NASW National
- Stress and Health *NEW*
- Standards of Self Care- *NEW*
- Social Work Self Care: The Overlooked Core Competency- Social Worker Today
- What about you?- Volk, Guarino, Grandin, Clervil
- Self-Care in Social Work- NASW Press
- Self- Care- An Ethical Imperative
- Professional Burnout and Social Work
- Eye on Ethics – Frederic Reamer
- Fight Burnout in Social Work – Vogt
- Impaired Professionals – Frederick Reamer
- The Impaired Social Worker – Frederick Reamer
- Organizational Prevention of Vicarious Trauma – Bell, Kulkarni, & Dalton
- The Stress-Distress-Impairment Continuum… – Advisory Committee on Colleague Assistance
- Social Work Students, Self Care, Compassion Fatigue, and Burnout
- Teaching social workers about [vicarious] trauma… – Cunningham
- Vicarious Trauma: The Impact of Controlled Empathy – Izzo, PhD & Miller, LMFT
- Lawyer Assistance Program – articles and self-assessments
- Lending Library Resources
These resources are not a substitute for seeking professional help, but are available for purchase through outside agencies/organizations if so desired. These items are included in this list because they are not available through the NASW-NC Lending Library or online, free of charge.
These resources are not a substitute for seeking professional help.
The New Social Worker
Stories from the Sidewalk