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Number of items: 13.

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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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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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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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‘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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Involving Service Users and Carers in Interdisciplinary Education

This resource helps educators consider two primary issues of service user and carer involvement in social work education: 1. Student selection 2. Student assessment The aim of this resource is to help you explore issues of service user and carer involvement in interdisciplinary education from their perspective.

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Virtual Placement

This package has been created to help social work students prepare for "live" practice learning opportunities by exploring the nature of good practice. The multimedia approach adopted by this package places students in a wood, they are expected to navigate their way around seven trees that help them explore issues of: self-knowledge knowing and learning becoming and being a professional communicating collaboration and conflict making decisions and evaluating and reflecting The wood the students navigate has been designed to re-create situations, dilemmas and responses that can occur in live practice learning opportunities, the aim is to help the students (as explorers) consider the nature of good practice and to rehearse it.

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This list was generated on Thu Sep 6 18:51:53 2018 BST.