The importance of context for 'external' social work supervisors in social work practice learning

Zuchowski, Ines (2013) The importance of context for 'external' social work supervisors in social work practice learning. In: Joint Social Work Education Conference and Social Work Research Conference. pp. 24-25. From: 15th UK Joint Social Work Education Conference and 7th UK Social Work Research Conference: postive practice in hard times: social work fights back, 10-12 July 2013, London, UK.

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In social work education practice learning is recognised as central to the degree, facilitating the development of practice skills, professional identity and a professional practice framework. Social work practitioners, organisations and social work education are exposed to global, economic, social and political changes and workplace pressures that impact social work education and practice including the provision of student practice learning. Social Work practice learning with 'external' supervision is becoming more prevalent, but in some countries it is considered less desirable than practice learning with 'in house' supervision. The small body of literature on practice learning with external supervision through the use of practice assessors/external field educators explores the benefits and the complexities of these set-ups, but particularly emphasises the importance of establishing and maintaining the triad relationship of supervisor, on-site and off-site supervisor and the provision of continued support. Equally, literature on external supervision raises concerns about the visibility of students' work when the assessor is external to the organisation. Literature also suggests that students are more positive about practice learning where the social worker is on site. This presentation provides interim findings of my current Australian PhD research into exploring 'Social Work Student Placements with External Supervision'.

The aim of the research is to explore the experiences of key stakeholders in social work practice learning with external supervision and develop practice in this area. A qualitative approach guided in –depth interviews with Australian students, field educators/practice assessors, task supervisors and university liaison persons. This presentation reports on the experiences of social workers who provide 'external' supervision and assessment in practice learning. The implications that can be drawn from the data for an International context are considered. A range of themes have emerged, including a focus on supervision, relationships, roles, placement preparation and assessment. Preliminary findings suggest that knowledge and understanding of context is dominant in social workers' reflections on their experience.

Item ID: 28220
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: social work; field placement; practice learning; external supervision; student supervision; relationships; context
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Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2013 03:52
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930103 Learner Development @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development @ 50%
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