Social Work



Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Type of Paper/Work

Banded Dissertation


Laurel N. Bidwell


This banded dissertation focuses on self-care as an imperative in social work practice. In the context of this banded dissertation self-care is defined as “the balancing activities in which social workers can engage to preserve personal longevity and happiness, their relationships, and their careers.” (Smullens, 2015, p. 6). According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Delegate Assembly passed a policy statement placing self-care in the forefront of social work practice (2008). The NASW noted that self-care required deeper examination in the social work profession. This banded dissertation research centers on self-care as a model of prevention & sustainability in social work practice.

The first product, a book chapter, advances the understanding of self-care in social work practice. Specific self-care strategies (infusing nature into the workplace by walking, creating a garden, using plants) for the workplace are highlighted. Implications for social work practitioners offered.

The second product presents research conducted within a graduate social work program with 30 students, in which a self-care discussion board was analyzed to identify themes. Social work educators can help social work students develop effective strategies that may be employed during professional social work practice.

The third product, a conceptual paper, advances disciplinary approaches to self-care in social work practice by applying Paulo Friere’s transformative learning theory. Implications for social work organizations offered.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.