Transition to professional social work practice: the initial year

Hunt, Sonya, Lowe, Simon, Smith, Kelly, Kuruvila, Albert, and Webber-Dreadon, Emma (2016) Transition to professional social work practice: the initial year. Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, 18 (1). pp. 55-71.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


This paper presents the findings of the first year of a three-year longitudinal study of new graduate social workers from a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program in Aotearoa New Zealand. We compare work outcomes and graduates’ perceptions of their readiness for practice against the New Zealand Social Workers Registration Board’s (SWRB’s) 10 core competencies. This study’s impetus came from an increase in the professionally accepted minimum qualification benchmark, recent political commentary on the preparedness of social work graduates, and associated roles of the SWRB and Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Work (ANZASW). The aim of this longitudinal research is to track paid and unpaid work outcomes and identify the support needs of social work graduates as they transition from students into professional practitioners. An on-line questionnaire offered graduates the opportunity to comment annually on their professional progress. The respondents all found paid employment as social workers in that first year and identified transitional challenges. Supports to ease this transition included supervision, mentoring, collegiality, coaching, case-load protection (both volume and complexity), continuing professional development, and professional networking. Concluding that the first year of practice is a highly demanding one, we highlight the need for new graduates to have reduced case-loads and additional levels of support. This article is highly relevant for the profession in Aotearoa New Zealand and elsewhere, particularly for countries such as Australia where there is no legislated registration process for social workers.

Item ID: 72764
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1329-0584
Related URLs:
Additional Information:

Newly qualified social workers; Transition from graduate to social worker; Preparation for practice; Social work registration; Practice standards; Competencies

Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2022 02:29
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440999 Social work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1699 Other education and training > 169999 Other education and training not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 1
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page