Back from the Ashes of Communism: The Rebirth of the Social Work Profession in Romania

Florin LazCrossed D Signr, Elizabeth Lightfoot, Mihai Bogdan Iovu, László Csaba Dégi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The profession of social work in Romania was re-established in the early 1990s after being completely abolished for three decades during the communist period. This article reports findings from the first national survey of Romanian social workers, which studied characteristics of social workers and their roles, tasks and types of services provided. In addition, it explores how burnout, income and efficacy were associated with social workers' plans for leaving the profession or country. This study used a seventy-three-item online survey tool to collect data from 1,057 social workers from across Romania using a quota sampling strategy. Romanian social workers skewed young, female and from the Romanian ethnic group. Whilst Romania has a large rural population, social workers primarily practiced in urban areas. Social workers had fairly high levels of job satisfaction and feelings of self-efficacy, and were most likely to be working in child and family protection using direct practice methods. Over one-fifth of social workers indicated they were considering leaving the field in the next two years. Those with higher incomes had lower odds that they planned to leave the field within two years, whilst those with burnout had over twice the odds they planned to leave the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-356
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Eastern Europe
  • Romania
  • burnout
  • migration
  • post-communist
  • social workers
  • workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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