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How social workers link their family of origin experience to their social work practice Atkinson, Louanna


Over the past decade, previous research has reported that most social workers come from dysfunctional families of origin - and propose that such family of origin experiences may affect the mental health and professional abilities of social workers. This qualitative study was designed to explore how social workers make sense of the link between their family of origin experience and their social work practice. Purposive sampling was used to recruit four social workers that had completed (at least) a BSW degree. Each participated in semistructured, personal interviews, lasting approximately ninety minutes. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and returned to participants for editing and clarification. Narrative and phenomenologicai research methods were used to gain a deeper understanding of the contextualised experiences offered by the social work participants. Implications for social work education, social work practice, and professional responsibility are examined.

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