An examination of student and provider perceptions of voluntary sector social work placements in Northern Ireland

Denise Mac Dermott, Ann Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Practice based learning in Northern Ireland is a core element of socialwork education and comprising 50% of the degree programme forundergraduate and postgraduate students. This article presentsevidence about the perceptions of practice learning from voluntarysector/non-government organisation (NGO) placement providers andfinal year social work students on social work degree programmesin Northern Ireland in 2011. It draws on data from 121 respondentsfrom189 final year students and focus group interviews with voluntarysector providers offering 16% (85) of the total placements available tostudents. The agencies who participated in the research study providea total of 55 PLOs to social work students, and are therefore fairlyrepresentative in terms of voluntary sector (NGO) provision. The articlelocates these data in the context of practice learning pedagogy andthe changes introduced by the Regional Strategy for Practice LearningProvision in Northern Ireland 2010–2015. Several themes emergedincluding; induction, support and guidance, practice educator/student relationship, professional identity and confidence in riskassessment and decision-making. Social work educators, placementproviders and employers must be cognisant of newly qualified socialworkers’ needs in terms of consolidating knowledge within theformative stages of their professional development.
LanguageEnglish
Pages31-49
JournalJournal of Social Work Education
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Sep 2015

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social work
examination
student
PLO
educator
learning
induction
employer
confidence
decision making
interview
education
Group

Keywords

  • Practice placement
  • social work education
  • practice learning
  • voluntary sector social work placements
  • field education

Cite this

@article{79d7b35e731e4d30ae52db541bd3ce48,
title = "An examination of student and provider perceptions of voluntary sector social work placements in Northern Ireland",
abstract = "Practice based learning in Northern Ireland is a core element of socialwork education and comprising 50{\%} of the degree programme forundergraduate and postgraduate students. This article presentsevidence about the perceptions of practice learning from voluntarysector/non-government organisation (NGO) placement providers andfinal year social work students on social work degree programmesin Northern Ireland in 2011. It draws on data from 121 respondentsfrom189 final year students and focus group interviews with voluntarysector providers offering 16{\%} (85) of the total placements available tostudents. The agencies who participated in the research study providea total of 55 PLOs to social work students, and are therefore fairlyrepresentative in terms of voluntary sector (NGO) provision. The articlelocates these data in the context of practice learning pedagogy andthe changes introduced by the Regional Strategy for Practice LearningProvision in Northern Ireland 2010–2015. Several themes emergedincluding; induction, support and guidance, practice educator/student relationship, professional identity and confidence in riskassessment and decision-making. Social work educators, placementproviders and employers must be cognisant of newly qualified socialworkers’ needs in terms of consolidating knowledge within theformative stages of their professional development.",
keywords = "Practice placement, social work education, practice learning, voluntary sector social work placements, field education",
author = "{Mac Dermott}, Denise and Ann Campbell",
note = "Reference text: Bell, J. (2006). Doing your research project (4th ed.). Berkshire: Open University Press. Bellinger, A. (2010). Studying the landscape: Practice learning for social work reconsidered. Social Work Education, 29, 599–615. doi:10.1080/02615470903508743 Bryman, A. (2004). Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Burnard, P. (1991). A method of analysing interview transcripts in qualitative research. Nurse Education Today, 11, 461–466. doi: 10.1016/0260-6917(91)90009-Y Carpenter, J., Patsios, D., Wood, M., Shardlow, S., Blewett, J., Platt, D., … Wong, C. (2011). Newly Qualified Social Worker Programme evaluation report on the second year (2009/10). Retrieved from http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sps/research/projects/current/rk7035/nqswyear2. Croisdale-Appleby, D. (2014). Re-visioning social work education: An independent review. London: Department Of Health. Das, C., O Neill, M., & Pinkerton, J. (2015). Re-engaging with community work as a method of practice in social work: A view from Northern Ireland. Journal of Social Work, 1–20. doi:10.177/1468017315569644. first published online February 4, 2015. Davys, A. M., & Beddoe, L. (2009). The reflective learning model: Supervision of social work students. Social Work Education, 28, 919–933. doi:10.1080/02615470902748662 Department of Health and Personal Social Services (NI). (2006a). Personal Social Services Development and Training Strategy 2006–2016. Belfast: DHSSPSNI. Department of Health and Personal Social Services (NI). (2010). Review of workforce planning for social services. Belfast: DHSSPSNI. Department of Health and Personal Social Services (NI). (2011). Transforming your care: A review of health and social care in Northern Ireland. Belfast: DHSSPSNI. Department of Health and Personal Social Services (NI). (2012). Improving and safeguarding social wellbeing: A strategy for social work in Northern Ireland 2012–2022. Belfast: DHSSPSNI. Ferguson, I., & Smith, L. (2011). Education for change: Student placements in campaigning organisations and social movements in South Africa. British Journal of Social Work, 42: 974–994. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcr143 Fortune, A. E., McCarthy, M., & Abramson, J. S. (2001). Student learning processes in field education:Relationships of learning activities to quality of field instruction, satisfaction and performance among MSW students. Journal of Social Work Education, 37, 111–124. Fortune, A. E., Lee, M., & Calvazos, A. (2007). Does practice make perfect? The Clinical Supervisor, 26, 239–263. doi:10.1300/J001v26n01_15 Fowler, F. J. (2009). Survey research methods (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York, NY: Basic Books. Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago, IL: Aldine. Houston, J. (2015, February). Assessed year in employment presentation to final year students. Presented at the Ulster University Employability Event, Derry. Hugman, R. (2009). But is it social work? Some reflections on mistaken identities. British Journal of Social Work, 39, 1138–1153. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcm158 Jordan, B. (2001). Tough love: Social work, social exclusion and the third way. British Journal of Social Work, 31, 527–546. doi:10.1093/bjsw/31.4.527 Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as a source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Levy, D., Shlomo, S. B., & Itzhaky, H. (2014). The building blocks of professional identity among social work graduates. Social Work Education, 33, 1–16. doi:10.1080/02615479.2014.883600 Lucas, R. (1997). Youth, gender and part-time work – Students in the labour process. Work, Employment and Society, 11, 595–614. doi:10.1177/0950017097112001 Mumm, A. (2006). Teaching social work students practice skills. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 26, 71–89. doi:10.1300/J067v26n03_05. Munro, E. (2005). A systems approach to investigating child abuse deaths. British Journal of Social Work, 35, 531–546. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bch194. Murphy, D., Duggan, M., & Joesph, S. (2012). Relationship-based social work and its compatability with the person-centred approach: Principled versus Instrumental Perspectives. British Journal of Social Work, 43, 1–17. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcs003 Narey, M. (2014). Making the education of social workers consistently effective; Independent review of the education of children’s social workers. London: Department of Education. Nixon, S., & Muir, A. (2006). Practice learning and the development of professional practice. Social Work Education, 25, 798–811. Noble, C., & Irwin, J. (2009). Social work supervision: An exploration of the current challenges in a rapidly changing social, economic and political environment. Journal of Social Work, 9, 345–358. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468017309334848 Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2003a). Framework specification for the degree in social work.Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2003b). Practice learning requirements for the degree in social work. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2006). The standards for practice learning for the degree in social work. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2009a). The standards for practice learning for social work – revised. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2009b). The five year periodic review of the degree in social work. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2011). National occupational standards for social work. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2013). Readiness to practise: A report from a study of new social work graduates’ preparedness for practice: An analysis of the views of key stakeholders. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council (2014a). Framework specification for the degree in social work. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2014b). The second periodic review of the degree in social work. Belfast: NISCC. Pugh, R. (2005). The professionalisation of social work in the UK: Independence, prescription and regulation. Portularia, 5, 77–94. Ruch, G. (2000). Self and social work: Towards an integrated model of learning. Journal of Social Work Practice, 14, 99–112. doi:10.1080/02650530020020500 Sarantakos, S. (2005). Social research (3rd ed.). Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Scholar, H. (2014). Devaluing non-traditional social work placements is a loss to the profession. Retrieved from http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2014/08/18/devaluing-non-traditional-socialwork- placements-loss-profession/ Sharpe, E., Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J., & Hussein, S. (2011). Into the workforce. Interim report from a study funded under the Department of Health Social Care Workforce Research Initiative. London: Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College. Shulman, L. S. (2005). Signature pedagogies in the professions. Daedalus, 134, 52–59. Stepney, P. (2006). Mission impossible: Critical practice in social work. British Journal of Social Work, 36, 1289–1307. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bch388 Teater, B. (2011). Maximizing student learning: A case example of applying teaching and learning theory in social work education. Social Work Education: The International Journal, 30, 571–585. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2010.505262 The Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) (2009). Wayne, J., Bogo, M., & Raskin, M. (2010). Field education as the signature pedagogy of social work education. Journal of Social Work Education, 46, 327–339. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5175/JSWE.2010.200900043 Welch, V., Lerpiniere, J., & Young, E. (2014). Scottish first line manager’s views of newly qualified social workers’ preparedness for practice; findings from an online Delphi Study. Retrieved from http://www.celcis.org/media/resources/publications/Scottish_Line_Manager_Views_of_Newly_ Qualified_Social_Workers.pdf Wilson, G., & Kelly, B. (2010). Enhancing social work students’ learning experience and readiness to undertake practice learning. Retrieved from http://www.swap.ac.uk/docs/projects/practice_ learning130710.pdf",
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An examination of student and provider perceptions of voluntary sector social work placements in Northern Ireland. / Mac Dermott, Denise; Campbell, Ann.

In: Journal of Social Work Education, Vol. 35, No. 1, 21.09.2015, p. 31-49.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - An examination of student and provider perceptions of voluntary sector social work placements in Northern Ireland

AU - Mac Dermott, Denise

AU - Campbell, Ann

N1 - Reference text: Bell, J. (2006). Doing your research project (4th ed.). Berkshire: Open University Press. Bellinger, A. (2010). Studying the landscape: Practice learning for social work reconsidered. Social Work Education, 29, 599–615. doi:10.1080/02615470903508743 Bryman, A. (2004). Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Burnard, P. (1991). A method of analysing interview transcripts in qualitative research. Nurse Education Today, 11, 461–466. doi: 10.1016/0260-6917(91)90009-Y Carpenter, J., Patsios, D., Wood, M., Shardlow, S., Blewett, J., Platt, D., … Wong, C. (2011). Newly Qualified Social Worker Programme evaluation report on the second year (2009/10). Retrieved from http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sps/research/projects/current/rk7035/nqswyear2. Croisdale-Appleby, D. (2014). Re-visioning social work education: An independent review. London: Department Of Health. Das, C., O Neill, M., & Pinkerton, J. (2015). Re-engaging with community work as a method of practice in social work: A view from Northern Ireland. Journal of Social Work, 1–20. doi:10.177/1468017315569644. first published online February 4, 2015. Davys, A. M., & Beddoe, L. (2009). The reflective learning model: Supervision of social work students. Social Work Education, 28, 919–933. doi:10.1080/02615470902748662 Department of Health and Personal Social Services (NI). (2006a). Personal Social Services Development and Training Strategy 2006–2016. Belfast: DHSSPSNI. Department of Health and Personal Social Services (NI). (2010). Review of workforce planning for social services. Belfast: DHSSPSNI. Department of Health and Personal Social Services (NI). (2011). Transforming your care: A review of health and social care in Northern Ireland. Belfast: DHSSPSNI. Department of Health and Personal Social Services (NI). (2012). Improving and safeguarding social wellbeing: A strategy for social work in Northern Ireland 2012–2022. Belfast: DHSSPSNI. Ferguson, I., & Smith, L. (2011). Education for change: Student placements in campaigning organisations and social movements in South Africa. British Journal of Social Work, 42: 974–994. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcr143 Fortune, A. E., McCarthy, M., & Abramson, J. S. (2001). Student learning processes in field education:Relationships of learning activities to quality of field instruction, satisfaction and performance among MSW students. Journal of Social Work Education, 37, 111–124. Fortune, A. E., Lee, M., & Calvazos, A. (2007). Does practice make perfect? The Clinical Supervisor, 26, 239–263. doi:10.1300/J001v26n01_15 Fowler, F. J. (2009). Survey research methods (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York, NY: Basic Books. Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago, IL: Aldine. Houston, J. (2015, February). Assessed year in employment presentation to final year students. Presented at the Ulster University Employability Event, Derry. Hugman, R. (2009). But is it social work? Some reflections on mistaken identities. British Journal of Social Work, 39, 1138–1153. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcm158 Jordan, B. (2001). Tough love: Social work, social exclusion and the third way. British Journal of Social Work, 31, 527–546. doi:10.1093/bjsw/31.4.527 Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as a source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Levy, D., Shlomo, S. B., & Itzhaky, H. (2014). The building blocks of professional identity among social work graduates. Social Work Education, 33, 1–16. doi:10.1080/02615479.2014.883600 Lucas, R. (1997). Youth, gender and part-time work – Students in the labour process. Work, Employment and Society, 11, 595–614. doi:10.1177/0950017097112001 Mumm, A. (2006). Teaching social work students practice skills. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 26, 71–89. doi:10.1300/J067v26n03_05. Munro, E. (2005). A systems approach to investigating child abuse deaths. British Journal of Social Work, 35, 531–546. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bch194. Murphy, D., Duggan, M., & Joesph, S. (2012). Relationship-based social work and its compatability with the person-centred approach: Principled versus Instrumental Perspectives. British Journal of Social Work, 43, 1–17. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcs003 Narey, M. (2014). Making the education of social workers consistently effective; Independent review of the education of children’s social workers. London: Department of Education. Nixon, S., & Muir, A. (2006). Practice learning and the development of professional practice. Social Work Education, 25, 798–811. Noble, C., & Irwin, J. (2009). Social work supervision: An exploration of the current challenges in a rapidly changing social, economic and political environment. Journal of Social Work, 9, 345–358. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468017309334848 Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2003a). Framework specification for the degree in social work.Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2003b). Practice learning requirements for the degree in social work. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2006). The standards for practice learning for the degree in social work. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2009a). The standards for practice learning for social work – revised. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2009b). The five year periodic review of the degree in social work. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2011). National occupational standards for social work. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2013). Readiness to practise: A report from a study of new social work graduates’ preparedness for practice: An analysis of the views of key stakeholders. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council (2014a). Framework specification for the degree in social work. Belfast: NISCC. Northern Ireland Social Care Council. (2014b). The second periodic review of the degree in social work. Belfast: NISCC. Pugh, R. (2005). The professionalisation of social work in the UK: Independence, prescription and regulation. Portularia, 5, 77–94. Ruch, G. (2000). Self and social work: Towards an integrated model of learning. Journal of Social Work Practice, 14, 99–112. doi:10.1080/02650530020020500 Sarantakos, S. (2005). Social research (3rd ed.). Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Scholar, H. (2014). Devaluing non-traditional social work placements is a loss to the profession. Retrieved from http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2014/08/18/devaluing-non-traditional-socialwork- placements-loss-profession/ Sharpe, E., Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J., & Hussein, S. (2011). Into the workforce. Interim report from a study funded under the Department of Health Social Care Workforce Research Initiative. London: Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College. Shulman, L. S. (2005). Signature pedagogies in the professions. Daedalus, 134, 52–59. Stepney, P. (2006). Mission impossible: Critical practice in social work. British Journal of Social Work, 36, 1289–1307. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bch388 Teater, B. (2011). Maximizing student learning: A case example of applying teaching and learning theory in social work education. Social Work Education: The International Journal, 30, 571–585. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2010.505262 The Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) (2009). Wayne, J., Bogo, M., & Raskin, M. (2010). Field education as the signature pedagogy of social work education. Journal of Social Work Education, 46, 327–339. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5175/JSWE.2010.200900043 Welch, V., Lerpiniere, J., & Young, E. (2014). Scottish first line manager’s views of newly qualified social workers’ preparedness for practice; findings from an online Delphi Study. Retrieved from http://www.celcis.org/media/resources/publications/Scottish_Line_Manager_Views_of_Newly_ Qualified_Social_Workers.pdf Wilson, G., & Kelly, B. (2010). Enhancing social work students’ learning experience and readiness to undertake practice learning. Retrieved from http://www.swap.ac.uk/docs/projects/practice_ learning130710.pdf

PY - 2015/9/21

Y1 - 2015/9/21

N2 - Practice based learning in Northern Ireland is a core element of socialwork education and comprising 50% of the degree programme forundergraduate and postgraduate students. This article presentsevidence about the perceptions of practice learning from voluntarysector/non-government organisation (NGO) placement providers andfinal year social work students on social work degree programmesin Northern Ireland in 2011. It draws on data from 121 respondentsfrom189 final year students and focus group interviews with voluntarysector providers offering 16% (85) of the total placements available tostudents. The agencies who participated in the research study providea total of 55 PLOs to social work students, and are therefore fairlyrepresentative in terms of voluntary sector (NGO) provision. The articlelocates these data in the context of practice learning pedagogy andthe changes introduced by the Regional Strategy for Practice LearningProvision in Northern Ireland 2010–2015. Several themes emergedincluding; induction, support and guidance, practice educator/student relationship, professional identity and confidence in riskassessment and decision-making. Social work educators, placementproviders and employers must be cognisant of newly qualified socialworkers’ needs in terms of consolidating knowledge within theformative stages of their professional development.

AB - Practice based learning in Northern Ireland is a core element of socialwork education and comprising 50% of the degree programme forundergraduate and postgraduate students. This article presentsevidence about the perceptions of practice learning from voluntarysector/non-government organisation (NGO) placement providers andfinal year social work students on social work degree programmesin Northern Ireland in 2011. It draws on data from 121 respondentsfrom189 final year students and focus group interviews with voluntarysector providers offering 16% (85) of the total placements available tostudents. The agencies who participated in the research study providea total of 55 PLOs to social work students, and are therefore fairlyrepresentative in terms of voluntary sector (NGO) provision. The articlelocates these data in the context of practice learning pedagogy andthe changes introduced by the Regional Strategy for Practice LearningProvision in Northern Ireland 2010–2015. Several themes emergedincluding; induction, support and guidance, practice educator/student relationship, professional identity and confidence in riskassessment and decision-making. Social work educators, placementproviders and employers must be cognisant of newly qualified socialworkers’ needs in terms of consolidating knowledge within theformative stages of their professional development.

KW - Practice placement

KW - social work education

KW - practice learning

KW - voluntary sector social work placements

KW - field education

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DO - 10.1080/02615479.2015.1100289

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