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Number of items: 41.

A

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Engaging PQ students with different prior academic experiences in successful learning.

Paper presented at JSWEC 2009 Conference. It seems that students' capacity to benefit from the learning experience is influenced by their previous level of study, previous successes, the length of time since they last studied, their perception of the relevance of the study to their professional development and by the support they receive from their employer. This paper will describe our preliminary findings from a project looking at the satisfaction of students undertaking Post-Qualifying (PQ) Awards in Social Work with Children, Young People their Families and Carers. These students are qualified social workers who are currently in practice. Their qualification may be either a Diploma in Social Work (BA Levels 1 and 2) or a Bachelors Degree in Social Work (BA Levels 1,2 and 3). We have observed dissatisfaction with the entry modules to the programme from some students who feel that they are not receiving enough ‘teaching’. These students appear to be those with Diploma qualifications who have not previously studied at BA, level 3 and specifically have not undertaken an undergraduate dissertation which can be argued develops autonomous learners. Students undertaking any continuous professional development are under the scrutiny of their employers and if they are finding these studies difficult are likely to blame this on the course provider rather than expose their own capacity. This is therefore an important area to investigate as these students need the PQ qualifications and this may be best achieved by pre-course preparation programmes, to develop capacity, for some candidates. If our hypothesis is correct this will also lead to improvement in student satisfaction and completion rates.

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B

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New Horizons? Shaping learning and teaching about mental health: from specialist module to mainstream learning

This presentation puts the case for embedding learning about mental health and well-being throughout the social work curriculum. Presented by Jill Anderson and Hilary Burgess to the Joint Social Work Education Conference in 2010

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Why are they staying? Retaining social workers in child protection and welfare in the Republic of Ireland

Paper presented at 2010 JSWEC Conference. There is a perception, both domestically (Ombudsman for Children, 2006; Andrews, 2008) and internationally (Tham, 2006, Stalker et al., 2007), that retaining child protection and welfare social workers is problematic. This paper presents the findings of a recently completed qualitative study that examined this issue in one Health Service Executive (HSE) area in the Republic of Ireland. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with child protection and welfare social workers to explore their understandings of the factors that influence their decisions to want to stay in or leave their current employment. Contrary to expectations, the study found that the turnover rate for these social workers was quite low and that two thirds expressed their intention to stay in this work. This paper examines the professional, organisational and individual factors which contribute to these social workers’ retention. Particular emphasis will be placed on one aspect of this study that examined social workers’ understanding of career pathways in social work and explores how these understandings influenced their employment decisions and retention. This analysis looked at social workers use of metaphors to describe their motivations for ‘doing’ this work. This led to the development of a typology of social workers’ entry motivations which contributes to our understanding of how social workers make decisions to stay or leave decisions which are often made before they even start working in child protection and welfare. The research found that the situation might not be as pessimistic as an initial reading of the literature might suggest. The presentation will conclude with an examination of the implications of these findings for the users of child protection and welfare services, social work education and child protection and welfare service managers.

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C

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Stories and lessons from a study of the enhancement of learning process on a social work degree programme

Paper presented at 2009 JSWEC Conference. There are increasing signs of a deepened and broadened interest in how the integration of learning can be enhanced. Our exploration of the integration of learning began five years ago and has previously published on how academic contact with social work students during placements can bridge the gap between theory and practice. We have continued our work on the place and role of academics in the enhancement of student learning (e.g. the tutor - student relationship) and have now gone on to seek the views of finishing students as to the most helpful people, moments and processes in the enhancement of their learning. We will present preliminary results and observations from a two-year study during which the views of two similar cohorts of students were sought. The first results provide something of a wake-up call for academics with the message being that: If social work ‘can’t go on doing more of the same’ (Changing Lives, 21st Century Review of Social Work 2006) then social work educationalists also can’t continue to act as though it were the 19th century. The belief that transmission of information equals student learning needs to go the same way as Gowns and Latin. The findings from our research will be interesting for training officers, trainers and practice teachers and constitute something of urgency for lecturers and tutors.

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Reflections on Identity: the Prerequisites for Professional Strength and Creativity

Paper presented at 2010 JSWEC Conference Writing in 1942, as America faced the crisis of joining World War II, Bertha Reynolds argued "The best preparation for adapting to the social work of the future, or to its absence if the good life of that time has no need for it, is to see it now, without illusions, as a part of our own time, and to face what we have with an active determination to be flexible enough ourselves so that we do not hold back its growth into something else". Sixty years later, these words resonate, at a time of what might be describes as ‘perpetual crisis’, within the profession and in the broader society within which social work is defined and practiced. This presentation offers social work practitioners and educators the opportunity to reflect on the context, social, economic, political and spiritual, local and global, that shapes social work practice. It asks: 1. What measures, personal, professional and organisational, must be implemented for practitioners to ‘hold the faith’ as brokers of hope for the poor and marginalised in this fluid, contested and arguably risk saturated practice environment; 2. What new (and perhaps old but neglected) capacities and/or philosophies can assist and nourish them; and 3. What educational strategies, pre- and post-qualifying, are necessary to develop the intellectual rigour, emotional strength and integrity necessary for empowered and creative practice. Bertha Capon Reynolds (1942) Learning and Teaching in the Practice of Social Work National Association of Social Workers, Silver Spring; Russell & Russell, New York

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The impact of medication - Mirtazapine and unexpected naps

A service users account of how medication can adversely impact on day to day functioning. They outline their experiences of life within a hospital environment and the financial impact and isolation caused by being away from close family.

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The impact of medication - a violinist's nightmare

A mental health service users account of the impact that medication can have on their lives. It explores the story of a service user and their desire to play the violin even though the medication caused tremor in the arms and hands of the service user.

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The impact of medication - anti-depressant medication

This is an account of a mental health service user and their use of anti-depressants as a means of aiding their ability to lead their life.

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The impact of medication - battle of the bulge

Explores a service users account of how mental health medication can have an impact on body weight.

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The impact of medication - experience of night medication

Mental health service users account of using medication and the impact it can have on all aspects of life and conducting your day to day activities.

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The impact of medication - making decisions about medication

Service users account related to making decisions about using medication.

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The impact of medication - psychiatry, then and now

This is a story of a mental health service users experiences of psychiatry in 1997 and forced treatment. It explores the journey that includes a loss of faith in services. It then explores how in 2003 a more negotiable culture including a treatment plan led to a much better outcome for the service user. It explores the importance of respect and empathy in delivering a life changing service.

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The impact of medication - the service users' curse

Looks at a mental health service users experiences of constipation brought on by using medication and the impact it can have on day to day functioning.

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The new radical social work for new times

The current period is dominated by two significant realities which have enormous implications for social work: first, the increasing evidence of the damaging and dysfunctional nature of our economically divided society; second, the banking collapse and bailout. The former poses serious questions about the efficacy of individualised interventions which predominate through much of contemporary statutory social work, while the latter flatly contradicts every argument ever made about the cost of welfare being "too great". In this context, there is an opportunity for re-articulating radical traditions within social work that focus on structural, collective and non-pathological models. We begin by offering a critique of ‘old’ Radical Social Work (RSW) noting it’s emergence from the so-called ‘crisis of Labourism’ of the late 1970s, and the leftward shift within key sections of society in the context of working class radicalisation and the emergence of the New Social Movements (NSM), chief amongst these being feminism, anti-racism and service user activism. Paradoxically while the language of opposition to ‘oppression’, which RSW took from the involvement in NSM’s into social work, has become mainstream, the project of wider social transformation and equality of outcome, which it also saw itself as part of, has been completely marginalised within social work. Crucial to the political marginalisation of radical currents resides in the question of the relation of social work to the neoliberal capitalist state. The idea of being ""in and against the state" was cleverly appropriated by the New Right, who had their own agenda to dismantle the welfare state. It is this that explains RSW’s current difficulty at an analytical level - its language of "liberation", "empowerment" and "anti-oppression" are no longer ‘radical’ in the sense that they now sit comfortably within a neoliberal managerial discourse. In order for a dissenting radical current to re-emerge within social work it is essential that an agenda is set out which genuinely challenges the managerialism which has impoverished and demoralised front-line practice, as well as defending and reconstructing the best traditions within social work’s rich history.

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D

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Accessing and Making the Transition from Further Education to Higher Education: important socio-economic and life course considerations

The study upon which this paper is based aimed to explore the experiences of students enrolled on „Access to Social Work‟ courses striving to navigate their way from further education (FE) to higher education (HE) social work programmes. The study was set within the context of widening participation policy and more stringent Department of Health (DH) entry requirements for social work education introduced in 2003. These requirements stipulate that all applicants to social work education must demonstrate key skills in literacy and numeracy equivalent to grade C GCSE, and personal suitability for social work (DH, 2002).

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Can online discussions be used as a tool to shape the learning experience of student social workers?

"One of the great untested assumptions of current educational practice is that students learn through discussion." (Laurillard 2003:158) This paper explores student social workers’ perceptions of learning from participation in online discussions and analyses how these can be used most effectively to develop understanding about interpersonal communication. The research context was a communication unit on a social work degree course in which teacher-designed discussion questions followed each teaching session. Student questionnaires were analysed and the results compared with a grounded theory analysis of online postings (Strauss and Corbin 1998). Research shows that despite the potential for online discussions to stimulate deep learning, this remains elusive (Wallace 2003). This paper reviews the literature examining why evidence of complex engagement with ideas is difficult to locate in online discussions, and how meaningful discussion can be encouraged. Findings from this study suggest that participating in online discussions is an emotive experience for students. A model using online discussion to teach communication skills is proposed, building on the work of Gunawardena et al (1998). In the proposed model the links between ‘process knowledge’ (how students communicate with each other online and how they experience this) and ‘content knowledge’ (the curriculum) are used as learning material. It is argued that deeper learning may result from examination of this dynamic. The paper concludes that it may not be useful to search for evidence of deep learning in online discussions alone. Learning about communication should be considered as a cumulative process involving group interaction through online discussions, followed by individual reflection and application in social work practice. Further research to investigate applications of this model in social work education is needed. References Gunawardena, C N, Lowe, C A, Anderson, T. (1998)Transcript analysis of computer mediated conferences as a tool for testing constructivist and social constructivist learning theories, Paper presented at the Annual Conference on Distance Learning and Teaching Madison WI Aug 5-7 Laurillard, D. (2003) Rethinking University Teaching, 2nd Edition London and New York: RoutledgeFalmer Strauss,A and Corbin, J.M (1998) Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory, Thousand Oaks Calif:Sage Wallace, R M. (2003) Online learning in Higher Education: A review of research on interactions among teachers and students, Education, Communication and Information, 3:2

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Tracking the needs of newly-qualified social workers (NQSWs), in children and families settings, to identify the elements of induction that best support initial professional development in the workplace

Paper presented at 2008 JSWEC conference. The stimulus for this small, empirical study involving three statutory agencies in the south-west of England was provided by the convergence of important changes in 2006/07 to qualifying and post-qualifying education and training in social work, with the first graduates emerging from new degrees, and the implementation of the revised PQ framework, which stipulates a first 'consolidation module' in a specific area of specialist practice. Transferring these ideas into the workplace as part of the 'seamless continuum' envisaged for professional development presented a number of questions about the induction of newly-qualified social workers(NQSWs). A mix of methods was used to obtain quantitative and qualitative data from NQSWs, first line managers and staff development officers. Key themes emerging from initial postal questionnaires were used to inform the delivery of two sets of face-to-face semi-structured interviews with line managers and NQSWs, at six and twelve months into first employment. The study revealed a journey of transition and change, across three inter-related dimensions - personal, organisational and professional - each of which provided rewards as well as producing tensions. The personal dimension was one in which students emerging from their final placements found that the learning was not over and transition into the workplace, carrying full responsibility for a social work caseload, as well as an organisational identity, was stressful and demanding of personal resources. These experiences are explored in relation to new entrants to other professions, notably diplomate and graduate nurses and newly-qualified teachers. The organisational dimension was one in which change, both structural and procedural, appeared endemic. NQSWs faced high levels of organisational turbulence as social services departments metamorphose into services for children and young people. Management theory underpinning the development of learning organisations is used to inform understanding of the study findings and formulate suggestions for action. The professional dimension was no less beset with change with national induction standards, the review of roles and tasks, career grades and progression all coming to the fore. Discussion of the professional aspirations of NQSWs and first line managers is linked to these national debates, touching on definitions of social work and professional identity and status. Latterly, proposals by CWDC to develop a 'probationary year' for NQSWs resonatae with the issues which stimulated the study and with a number of its findings.

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Learning by teaching: the multilayered learning and teaching experience within the social work practicum

Westmead Hospital is a major teaching hospital in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia. A student unit exists within the large social work department. As part of the social work practicum, students on placement design and implement a program known as Careers Day. Senior secondary school students attend an interactive day in order to explore the option of social work as a career. This paper will discuss my role as student educator in guiding the social work students to develop and facilitate this unique and evolving program. A multi-layered learning process takes place involving the educator, the social work students and the participants. Social work skills are facilitated and enhanced through the use of role play, groupwork, teamwork and organisational activities. A variety of creative techniques are used to demonstrate and discuss the nature of social work. Students on practicum learn while they teach. Data will be provided about the success, challenges, methods, effectiveness and outcomes of this program for all involved.

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Levels in Practice: Benchmarking the Standards in Social Work Education against the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

Paper Presented at 2010 JSWEC Conference. One of the specific work areas for the SSSC is to drive and support the implementation of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) as a key element of the skills strategy and to increase potential benefits to the learning and development of the social services workforce. At degree level in terms of shaping the learning and teaching experience the drivers have been: - The report prepared for the SSSC by Bellevue Consultancy and Critical thinking which suggested that each course should be able to show, and should take steps to explain as appropriate, its levels of practice within the SCQF - The IRISS report, 'New Degree New Standards' which explores methodologies to be more explicit about what and when students learn in their degree programmes. The SSSC has commissioned materials and pilot work to benchmark the Standards in Social Work Education against the SCQF level descriptors. Project Definition: - To write illustrations of practice for selected outcomes (Learning Foci) of the social work degree; to write these descriptors at SCQF Levels 9 and 10; to do this within the context of case studies - To consult with stakeholders about how this work can potentially be used - To undertake a pilot use of the illustrations - To review the practice illustrations in light of the pilot. Outcomes of the work will be - The development of a language through which to assess applied knowledge in practice at different SCQF levels - Materials to make this possible - The testing of language and materials in practice - Feedback from stakeholders about the usefulness of the approach. The workshop will outline the process,content and outcome of this work and offer considerations about how to take it forward with stakeholders. It will include small group consideration of the materials, particularly the case studies and feedback about their usefulness. References SSSC/Bellevue Consultancy and Critical thinking www.sssc.uk.com/nr/rdonlyres/245afd96-2bbd-437c-af02-dac55423ab44/0/qacommissionfinalreport.pdf IRISS 'New Degree New Standards' www.iriss.org.uk/publications

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Juxtaposing disciplines and conquering interdisciplinary research challenges: the researcher’s perspective

Conference paper - JSWEC Social Work Research Conference University of Hertfordshire - 9th July 2009

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Questioning methodology in social work education research

Paper presented at 2010 JSWEC Conference. This paper contrasts the virtues and vices of the positivist and constructivist paradigms in social work education research and highlights the dearth of studies rooted in a critical paradigm. Questions will be raised in respect of the compatibility of different paradigms with social work values and the possibility of combining approaches in future research into social work education. The main example of research rooted in a positivist paradigm is the study published by the evaluation of the social work degree in England team in 2008. This generated standardised data from students' responses to survey questionnaires and hypothetical vignettes along with statistical profiles of students and their progression rates and statistical correlations between the variables deemed to be influential in teaching and learning. Such robust objective data may nevertheless have a limited use-value for educators and students at the grassroots. The presenter has recently completed a study of social work education which is due to be published as a textbook for students. It was an ethnographic study drawing upon a participatory approach to encourage students to share their experiences in interviews or focus groups and to submit their practice portfolios for a research reading, and it was rooted in a constructivist paradigm. This generated a wealth of real-life case studies of students' experiences of teaching and learning in university and community settings including their use of critical reflection, theory and research and the dilemmas thrown up by working with service users and other professionals. Nevertheless, I was confronted with a number of ethical and political predicaments during the conduct of the research, and the use of real-life case studies may itself prove to be controversial in due course. Evaluation of the Social Work Degree in England Team (2008) Evaluation of the New Social Work Degree Qualification in England Volume 1 Findings and Volume 2 Technical Appenix, available at the SCIE website www.scie-socialcareonline.org.uk Humphrey, C. Becoming a Social Worker. A Guide for Students. London: Sage (forthcoming, October 2010

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"I second that emotion" - emotions and emotional intelligence in social work

Paper presented at 2010 JSWEC Conference. The concept of emotional intelligence places emphasis on the ability of an individual to identify, understand and manage the emotional content of their interactions and experiences (Salovey and Mayer 1990). This paper will establish links between the concept of emotional intelligence and a potential role within social work practice. It will be argued that awareness of the emotional content of social work practice is congruent with 21st century social work principles such as the promotion of service user involvement in the services they receive. The potentially uneasy relationship between emotions and effective decision making will be explored. The familiar paradigm that emotions cloud judgements will be challenged and a case will be made to suggest that emotions are inextricably linked to thought processes and in turn we can begin to develop a view that the construct of emotional intelligence has a resonance in practice. There are many interesting parallels between emotional intelligence and the concept of the reflective practitioner. These will be explored and supervision will be highlighted as a key forum to develop the expression of emotions in practice. Reference Salovey, P. & Mayer, J.D. (1990). 'Emotional intelligence. Imagination', Cognition, and Personality (9) 185-211

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Is it the individual student who fails to progress or the individual programme that fails to respond?

Paper presented at 2009 JSWEC Conference. Social work courses recruit a higher proportion of students from different black and minority groups than many other courses. However, national statistics continue to demonstrate that some groups of students do not progress through social work training at the same rate as other students. Students from black and ethnic minority groups and disabled students have a significantly higher rate of referral and deferral than other groups of students and the recruitment, progression and achievement of men is worsening. Representatives from the GSCC multi-agency project group Diversity, Progression and Achievement which includes students, people who use services, carers, programme providers and other stakeholders will share their understanding of the recent findings from the research carried out by the Social Care Workforce Research Unit (Hussein et al 2009) with whom they have been collaborating. Further evidence will be presented from the latest social work degree annual monitoring exercise carried out by the GSCC. This examines what HEIs report they are doing to support vulnerable groups. Initial analysis suggests that problems in progression are more likely to be identified and responded to as individual issues. The paper explores what the implications are for universities, students, stakeholders and the regulatory body and poses How effectively are universities responding to the needs of those groups who are not progressing as they should? How can the GSCC become more effective in regulating and promoting equality requirements? How can HEIs continue to measure, monitor and improve their own progress in this area? Reference: Shereen Hussein, Jo Moriarty, Jill Manthorpe (2009) Variations in the Progression of Social Work Students in England, Social Care Workforce Research Unit, Kings College London/ General Social Care Council Full report - www.gscc.org.uk/NR/rdonlyres/B5A5B087-E7B9-471C-BAAF-207DA1FBE1DA/0/Progression_analysis_FT_UG.pdf Executive Summary - www.gscc.org.uk/NR/rdonlyres/E4482365-4F9F-46F0-9238-A030302E0ED7/0/Progression_analysis_FT_UG_0305__Executive_Summary.pdf

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A forgotten partnership? The carer-service user partnership and personalisation

The issue of partnerships is a core requirement in social work training (Department of Health, 2002). However, mainly as result of a lack of substantive research, a partnership that is central to the delivery, quality and experience of care - the partnership between service users and their carers - receives little attention. This paper will focus on the impact of personalisation on this partnership, and argue that it should not be forgotten within social work education and practice in the move to mainstream operation of personalisation (Department of Health, 2007). It will start with an outline of the nature of the carer-service user relationship, focusing on those qualities that contribute to its partnership status. Specific reference will be made to the mutual interdependence that has been found to characterise caring relationships. An exploration of the ways in which personalisation has the potential to shape aspects of this partnership will follow. For instance, initiatives introduced within this agenda mean that carers can be faced with the situation where their dependants make more of the decisions about their own care, they have to make different contributions to the provision of care which may involve them in new tasks and in some cases, a contractual relationship with the service user. The effects of these sorts of changes could also be compounded by any misalignments with their own needs. Hence personalisation can affect the dynamics of the caring relationship. Given the importance of this interdependent relationship to the successful implementation of initiatives within personalisation, it is crucial that changes in this relationship are recognized and addressed in social work practice as this agenda gathers momentum. Therefore, the final part of this paper will include some ideas about resolving this dilemma and ensuring the implications of personalisation for carer-service user partnerships are both incorporated into social work education and translated into effective practice. References Department of Health (2002). Requirements for Social Work Training. London: HMSO Department of Health (2007). Putting people first: a shared vision and commitment to the transformation of adult social care. London: HMSO

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Developing an e-portfolio for the Consolidation Module (PQ)

Paper presented at 2009 JSWEC Conference. The School of Social Work at Kingston University/ St George's University of London and North West and South West London Skills for Care sub regions were awarded a Skills for Care Post Qualifying (PQ) Innovation Fund project in January 2008 for the development of a pilot system for an electronic portfolio for the PQ Module ‘Consolidation'. The aim of this piece of work was to develop and pilot a web-based e-portfolio, which, if successful, could be shared with other universities across London providing 'consolidation'. It was also aimed to promote line managers’ engagement in PQ studies, by enabling them to access and track their staff member’s progress on the portfolio and requiring them to contribute to the assessment of their work. The e-portfolio was designed by a steering group of the partners, including representatives of Kingston University’s Service Users and Carers Advisory group. A company, VIS, which had previously worked on Skills for Care projects in the Midlands, was commissioned by the group to develop the electronic portfolio as a web-based system. The pilot has now been completed and evaluated (February 2009). This presentation will report on the outcomes of this pilot, its evaluation, some of the challenges experienced, lessons learnt and consider the potential of e-portfolios for PQ levels - a suitable medium or not?

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Shaping partnerships within a 'growing space'.

Using the idea of space to understand how the partnership between De Montfort University, local authorities, and service users and carers has been shaped in working together on Post Qualifying Awards. We will examine how the space is identified as a 'growing space' where people have been valued and enabled to grow. Within this space ideas are shared freely by all and crutially everyone has a voice. We intend to examine processes and practices to ascertain how the space became a 'growing space' rather than a restrictive space. We will also examine how this partnership approach has had an impact upon candidates undertaking the programme. Through the use of evaluative processes, lessons learned are to be considered and implications identified in relation to the Social Work Task Force recommendations. The application of lessons learnt are to be considered by participants in relation to their current partnership arrangements and consideration given to how to make these 'growing spaces' for all involved. Our approach to delivering this presentation will be seen to mirror the partnership working that has been established on the PQ Programme. A service user representative, local agency partner and PQ Programme leader at De Montfort University have designed and will deliver this presentation together.

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Making connections: using an on-line interactive website to enhance service user involvement

Paper presented at 2009 JSWEC Conference. It’s more like learning together, being on an equal footing, using our collective mind (Comment by service user, 2009) The (abridged) story of service user and carer involvement in professional programmes at a distance learning university is presented here to illustrate the complexity of issues of identity and the context of the power relationships in which they are enacted. This paper will explore issues of identity in service user and carer involvement through reflection on roles, relationships and communication between service users, carers, tutors and academic managers as they have evolved during a five year period of joint work. Early work focused on initial engagement and setting the framework and tone of involvement. The second phase involved a task-centred approach, concentrating on specific tasks in the development and implementation of the honours social work degree, an on-going project. Service user and carer roles across the social work programme are identified and explored. Relationships are described as ‘co-learners’ in a process of development and discovery. A third stage sees the extension of the group to include colleagues from the wider Health and Social Care Faculty and the development of an on-line interactive website - a wiki- in combination with local face to face networks of service users and carers. This is an attempt to reach out to geographically dispersed populations and to make connections with under-represented groups. There will be an analysis of roles, relationships and communication strategies to extend the reach of service user and carer involvement. By illustration there will be a demonstration of the wiki and presentation of ‘job’ descriptions contained therein to identify opportunities for involvement and two-way influence, followed by discussion of issues of identity, inter-professional involvement and the benefits and limitations of on-line communication.

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Research Ethics Review and the Mental Capacity Act 2005: Safeguarding people or stifling research?

Paper presented at 2009 JSWEC Conference. The implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 has implications for social researchers as well as health and medical research. The Act, however, is focused on the latter and Ethics Review for social research, where people may lack decision-making capacity to take part, presents complexities that have not yet been fully addressed. This paper reports a study of social work researchers’ involvement in university research ethics committees where the capacity of participants may be an issue. The findings suggest that perceived implications of the Act may inadvertently stifle important research and, if not carefully negotiated, the use of Research Ethics Review may prevent rather than enable people to become involved in research as participants. This may infringe the rights of people to participate in research and, therefore, may detract from the principles of the Act in presuming and enabling capacity where possible. The research was undertaken in two stages. A web-based search and documentary analysis of a sample of university research ethics committees’ policies and procedures determined current practice. The second stage involved semi-structured interviews with social work/social care researchers likely to be involved in areas covered by the Act. These interviews were thematically analysed to explore how ethical issues were considered, whether explicit account was taken of the Mental Capacity Act and in what ways the Act was believed potentially to impact on future research proposals. The study suggests there has been little attention to the implications of the Act so far by social work researchers, but where it has been considered problems have been identified. This paper makes some suggestions for negotiating university research ethics committees and making positive use of the Mental Capacity Act in developing research proposals where capacity may be an issue.

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Workshop: Interprofessional and interagency collaboration; experiences of developing an elearning resource

Paper Presented at JSWEC 2009 Conference. This workshop will provide the opportunity for participants to learn about the challenges experienced in developing materials for e-learning. Participants will be able to have hands on experience of a new e-learning resource on ‘interprofessional and inter-agency collaboration’ (IPIAC) and to consider its usefulness for effective teaching and learning. The authors of the resource will share their experiences of the process of developing the e-learning materials. They will reflect on the different domains, discourses and identities the project brought together, including those involving: the commissioners, the developers, subject material authors and peer reviewers. The presenters will explore how the process of continued negotiation and learning required, was managed to create the resource. Several factors produced tensions and opportunities during the content writing and technical development of the resource, relating to the expectations of the people and organisations involved in producing the resource. These factors included: prioritising the needs of potential learners, the variable development of the current knowledge and research base, the creative possibilities and limitations of e-learning, the different perspectives of the authors, the timescale of the project and the technical demands of translating IPIAC ideas into an e-learning resource. Discussion will explore parallels between the subject content of interprofessional and interagency collaboration, and the process of producing the e-learning resource with people from different professional backgrounds and organisations; both involving learning to work together effectively. Following a presentation by the authors and discussion about the process of producing e-learning materials, participants will be able to use the resource, comment on the experience and offer feedback on the potential application of the resource in their curricula.

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Religious nurture in Muslim families: implications for social work

Paper presented at 2010 JSWEC Conference. The significance of religion and spirituality for social work practice is now quite often acknowledged in academic writing, although arguably it is not yet so well recognised in routine social work practice. Western academic writing in social work books and journals tend to emphasise an individualised version of spirituality which is reasonably comfortable for secular liberals. This presentation will argue, on the basis of research with Muslim families about the religious nurture of children, that when social work practitioners are interacting with Muslim service users, they need to be aware of the importance of formal religion, rather than spirituality in any individualised Western sense. Although Muslim families are diverse in their belief and practice, the dominant world view tends to be an unwavering monotheism and conformity to religious texts. The presentation will draw on a research project from the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society programme. This involved secondary analysis of the Home Office Citizenship Survey and multi-method qualitative research with 60 Muslim families across a wide spectrum of ethnicity and social class. The presentation will focus on the implications of the research findings for child and family social work.

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Raising our Research Game - the Researcher Development Initiative Phase 2

Paper presented at 2008 JSWEC Conference. In this paper I shall provide an update on the recently funded ESRC RDI 2 project entitled 'Increasing the Competence and Confidence of Social Work Researchers II: An Action-learning Programme to Develop Research Capacity'. This project builds on the successful ESRC Researcher Development Initiative Phase I Project in 2006 aimed at increasing the research capacity of social work researchers. It was made on behalf of JUCSWEC in collaboration with SCIE,the Scottish Institute for Excellence in Social Work Education (SIESWE), and the Social Work and Policy (SWAP) HEA subject centre. The pioneering work on the application of scoping studies and systematic reviews to social work and social care by SCIE is being used as one of three platforms to launch this intensive development programme over two years. The second platform explores the value of mixing methods specifically to build the evidence base for the discipline. The third platform focuses on quasi-experimentation and instrument design, specifically aimed at social work research. SCIE and other research organisations are providing a number of 'placements', offering participants the experience of learning first-hand about systematic reviews. An innovation is the use of action-learning sets to support participants transform fledgling ideas into fully designed and costed proposals, ready for submission to funding bodies (especially the ESRC). Participants have already been invited to apply to join one of a number of action learning sets over the two years. They will also be offered regular support through the use of a buddy system, and a list of mentors to include experienced social work researchers with a record of securing and managing high-quality, externally-funded research. Lectures, seminars and workshops will be video- and audio-recorded using technology capable of producing downloadable files for subsequent transmission to laptops, Mac/PCs, iPods and MP3 formats.

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Creative resistance : utilising critical theory and service user participation to enhance social work students' ability to deconstruct visual representations of 'otherness'

Paper presented at 2010 JSWEC Conference. In the last decade marginalised groups have directly or indirectly utilised a range of creative and visual media to challenge dominant stereotypical and pathologised imagery and representations. Such 'outsider' perspectives have provided an alternative voice in a range of cultural contexts, from art in the street and installation to post modern 'sit down' comedy and contemporary music. In the author's role as a lecturer in undergraduate and postgraduate social work education a range of contemporary creative media have been used in and outside of the university environment to raise students' awareness of the ideological battle that is currently taking place in the 24/7 media that surround them.This has aimed to provide students with greater understanding of issues of power and partnership alongside a critical awareness of how authentic experiences of exclusion are being articulated. In the teaching of a 'Creativity and empowerment' unit,the author and students have worked alongside artists, poets and film makers who are engaged in changing perceptions and 'mainstreaming' perspectives that have previously occupied the position of being 'outside' most institutions. The paper will outline and critically evaluate how such a curriculum has been developed with the involvement of service users and been delivered to student groups over the last two years. A consideration will also be given to the use of creative artefacts to assess students knowledge and their ability to embrace the principles of participation in their consultative work with service users.

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A blended learning approach to human development learning and teaching.

This workshop will explore the student experience of a blended learning approach (Macdonald 2006) to the teaching of human development across the lifespan. By showcasing the core components of the module, participants will be encouraged to explore how they could utilise similar techniques within their own learning and teaching strategies. The structure will be a short presentation followed by hands on experience and wider discussion. Human development is taught at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) to undergraduate students in the 2nd year of the course. This is a large student group involving full-time students and part-time students who are employed within social care posts in our partner local authorities. Employing an essentially constructivist approach (Koohang et al 2009), students are introduced to several ‘families’ within the virtual town ‘Clydetown’ where their classroom learning of the theories of human development are tested against the experiences of the people within the case studies. This facilitates the scaffolding of the learning process (Hung 2005) as students can test out through discussion their understanding of the taught materials. This is further augmented by the use of audio materials from the BBC archive which allows this understanding to be tested against the lived reality of individual testimony. This module evaluated consistently well with students who found the blended approach responsive to their varied learning styles, age differences and practice experiences. It also begins the process of understanding how to function within the group learning environments and of reflective understanding (Fook and Gardner 2007) that will be required for their practice placement in the subsequent semester. References. Fook J and Gardner F, (2007) Practising Critical Reflection : A Handbook, Maidenhead, Open University Press Hung D, Chee T.S., Hedberg J.G. and Seng K.T. (2005) ‘A framework for fostering a community of practice: scaffolding learners through an evolving continuum’ , British Journal of Educational Technology, 36 (2) pp.159-176. Koohang A, Riley L and Smith T (2009) ‘E-learning and Constructivism: From Theory to Application, Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, Volume 5 . Macdonald, J. (2006), Blended Learning and Online Tutoring - A good practice Guide. Gower Publishing

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Achieving collaborative competence through inter-professional education. Lessons learned from joint training in learning disability nursing and social work

The ability to work interprofessionally is integral to professional education and training in social work. Emphasis is placed on students undertaking specific learning and assessment in partnership working and information sharing across professional disciplines (DH, 2002). This implies that aspects of inter-professional education (IPE) should be included within social work training in order that students acquire skills in effective collaborative practice (QAA, 2008). But how can social work education best address this when much of it is singular in nature and most social work students spend the majority of their undergraduate experience mainly in the company of other social work students? This paper begins by exploring the theoretical principles underpinning inter-professional education. A number of themes will be discussed which are highlighted in the literature relating to the aims and outcomes of IPE. Drawing on doctoral research which evaluated the perspectives of graduates who had undertaken joint training in learning disability nursing and social work, the paper will move on to evaluate the skills and knowledge they acquired through this particular model of IPE. It will consider what can be learned from their experience which may be applied to the development of social work students more generally. The paper will argue that there is much to be learned from this alternative model of professional training, in particular about how interprofessional experiences and reflection on them can support the development of critical perspectives in social work graduates. References Department of Health. 2002. Requirements for Social Work Training. London, DH. Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. 2008. Social Work Subject Benchmark Statement. Gloucester, QAA.

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Complexity: a model for inter-professional education in medicine and social work

Paper presented at 2009 JSWEC Conference. Klein (2004) has summarised accurately the realities of professional practice by suggesting that the problems practitioners face are marked by unpredictability, ambiguity, turbulence and uncertainty. The tragic case of Baby P, like that of Victoria Climbie, has underlined these demands yet again. Both these cases evidence the need for social work and medical practitioners to work together collaboratively, communicating clearly and understanding each other’s language, perspectives and assessments. In qualifying training the need to prepare social work and medical students for practice in these difficult environments and to enable them to develop collaborative attributes is essential. Moving beyond policy requirements in relation to inter-professional practice and learning, this paper proposes that complexity theory should play a central role in the theorisation of inter-professional learning and practice. Informed, inter alia, by the notions of attractors, simple-rules, self-organisation and emergence, it is argued that more emphasis should be placed upon creating receptive conditions and contexts which will support and facilitate good collaborative working. The paper also reports case studies of learning and teaching where medical and social work students work together early in their training, and together consider the difficult realities of service user/ patient need, whilst exploring key skills for joint working. The importance of incorporating openness to collaborative practice as students develop and negotiate their professional identify is highlighted, as is the part played by teaching staff in modelling collaboration. Reference Klein JT (2004) 'Interdisciplinarity and Complexity: an evolving relationship'. Emergence: Complexity & Organization 6:1-2 pp2-10

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‘Feeling safe in an insecure world: Social work education after Baby Peter’

Paper presented at 2010 JSWEC Conference. Four decades of public inquiries into child deaths and mental health tragedies have had a significant impact on public perceptions of social work. More recently, the death of Baby Peter led to intense media criticism of social workers, leading to the Sun newspaper petition to sack all of the social workers involved, which was signed by 1.2 million people. The Social Work Task Force, formed in response to the negative media coverage, has recommended reforms in social work education and the formation of a Royal College of Social Work that will act as the public face of the profession. This paper will present the findings of a mixed methods research study that investigated the impact of negative media coverage on student social workers. 68 students participated in three focus groups that used interactive software to collect survey-style quantitative data combined with focus group discussions. Over half (54%) of students reported that negative media coverage had a strong or mild negative effect and almost half (47%) had questioned their future career as a result of the media criticism. 86% believed that media criticism increased the likelihood of defensive practice and 83% felt the possibility of negative media coverage would influence their approach to a child protection referral. All of the effects identified increased as students progressed through their studies, with significantly higher rates for final year students. However, many articulated belief systems that provided a defensive function and acted as ‘discourses of resistance’. There was clearly an important topic of students, with 77% supporting this to be included in the social work curriculum. The implications for empowering student social workers will be discussed and the challenges currently facing the social work profession will be explored.

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Promoting a global knowledge sharing environment: development of an on-line community of practice between social work lecturers in the UK and India.

Paper presented at 2008 JSWEC Conference. An analysis of social work curriculum delivery in the UK appears to focus predominantly on UK society and practice. Social work has tended to be a locally specific discipline that has focussed on geographically bounded legislation, political configurations, economic frameworks, culture and norms (Dominelli, 2000). This may seem necessary as the majority of social work students will practice within their country of educational origin. However, it is also increasingly important that social work students gain knowledge of an international perspective due to the increasing globalised nature of social work together with an increasing transient social work population. Indeed, Dominelli and Bernard (2203, p.26) argue that: the theorisation of international social work and its impact on international exchanges in linking the global and the local has not been given high priority...This limited approach to internationalising social work has short-changed the profession... For a few social work students it is possible to gain first hand accounts of social work theory and practice from an international perspective through student exchange systems (Tesoriero and Rajaratnam, 2001). However, the majority of teaching and learning relies heavily on knowledge that is transferred from lecturer to student and, therefore, it is vital that lecturers gain an understanding of social work from a global view. This research adopts an action research perspective by facilitating first hand exchanges in dialogue between social work lecturers at Anglia Ruskin University, UK, and social work lecturers from the University of Mumbai, India. A on-line web based Community of Practice has been designed and has facilitated a collaborative inquiry over a one year period. The presentation will consider the setting up of the study: finding a collaborator; designing a web based Community of Practice; dominant themes arising from the collaboration. It will finally consider the impact on social work lecturer participants in relation to their continual professional development and how this gained knowledge is shared with their respective student population. References: Dominelle, L. (2000) 'International Comparisons in Social Work' in Pierce, R. and Weinstein, J. (eds) Innovative Education and Training for Care Professionals. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishing Dominelli, L. and Bernard, T.W. (2003) Broadening Horizons: International Exchanges in Social Work. London: Ashgate Tosoriero, F. and Rajaratnam, A. (2001) Partnership in education: An Australian school of social work and a South Indian primary health care project. International Social Work 44(1) pp.31-41

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Self-directed support and personal budgets - panacea or problem?

Paper presented at 2010 JSWEC Conference. The present government aims to ensure that people who use social services are given personal/individual budgets with which they can directly purchase the care and support they need. Personal budgets are seen as the means by which services will be ‘personalised’ and designed to fit around the person who uses them, rather than the other way around. Increasingly, this is becoming the ‘default’ model as local authority Performance Indicators encourage councils with social services responsibilities to offer personal budgets to service users, and ‘traditional’ forms of service provision are discouraged. However, the evidence base to support the introduction of personal/individual budgets currently remains weak, with only a handful of published studies, which are of variable quality. Our paper reports on a large, quantitative study, using a quasi-experimental design, of the impact of self-directed support and personal budgets on people who use social services. It was carried out in an English shire county in 2008-09. Amongst other findings, the study found evidence of positive outcomes for people from most care groups, on a range of measures. However, like the Individual Budgets Support Evaluation Network (IBSEN) report (Glendinning et al 2008) the study found no evidence of benefit for older people who were offered budgets. Evidence from both studies raises questions about the appropriateness of personal budgets for some people as a means of achieving personalisation. We then focus attention on the socio-political ‘lineage’ of personal/individual budgets, considering more fully what the drive to personalisation tells us about the nature of citizenship and governance contemporaneously. We argue that personal budgets may offer a false prospectus to many people, not least firstly, by promoting market rights but actually diminishing social rights and, secondly, by proffering participatory forms of governance as a replacement for traditional representative democratic structures.

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This list was generated on Mon Oct 29 10:07:37 2018 GMT.