These can be daunting times for practitioners in health and human services. Expectations are high: professional training emphasizes holistic and highquality practice. Practitioners are generally extremely motivated to contribute to the wellbeing of individuals and communities, to act as agents of change according to their own and the values of their professional discipline. However, they are confronted with considerable challenges: the current economic and political climate, which stresses outcomes rather than processes, the increasing complexity of the issues individuals, families and communities are facing and the uncertainties of constant change, combined with expectations to move towards interprofessional practice. The organizations where practitioners are based have their own sets of issues to manage: the pressures of less income combined with greater expectations including the creation of learning cultures, demonstrating effectiveness according to what may be experienced as sometimes inappropriate funding strategies and managing practitioners overwhelmed by levels of change and uncertainty. The organizational culture will reflect these and some cultures are better than others at retaining a climate of supporting workers whatever the prevailing context.
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