The development of a professional capabilities framework for social work in Aotearoa New Zealand (2022)
Type of ContentJournal Article
- Arts: Journal Articles 
As in other jurisdictions, social work education in Aotearoa New Zealand operates in a highly political and contested terrain (Beddoe, 2018; Nash & Munford, 2001). In recent years, criticism by public figures, including government ministers and the government-appointed Children’s Commissioner, have stimulated debate within the profession. In the past decade, significant policy developments, including a substantive government review of child protection services (Ministry of Social Development, 2015), have also increased scrutiny of the roles and capabilities of social workers and the quality of their initial education. For example, the Children’s Commissioner (Children’s Commissioner, 2015) commented that: Child Youth and Family reports that many new graduates they employ lack the required level of knowledge of child protection, youth justice, child development, mental health, addictions and family violence. This means new social workers need to learn these skills on the job. (p. 34) However, in the absence of relevant empirical evidence there is a risk that debates about the nature and quality of social work education rely on unsubstantiated, anecdotal comments by policy actors. Consequently, social work education may become directed in ways that are less than optimal for the professional development of new social workers. In 2016, in response to these issues, the Enhance Readiness to Practise (ER2P) research team were funded by Ako Aotearoa, a national tertiary education organisation, to carry out a three-stage project with a focus on the readiness to practice of newly qualified social workers.
CitationBallantyne N, Beddoe L, Hay K, Maidment J, Walker S, Merriman C (2022). The development of a professional capabilities framework for social work in Aotearoa New Zealand. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work. 34(2). 81-89.
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Keywordsprofessional capabilities; education; newly qualified social workers; competencies
ANZSRC Fields of Research44 - Human society::4409 - Social work::440901 - Clinical social work practice
39 - Education::3903 - Education systems::390305 - Professional education and training
39 - Education::3901 - Curriculum and pedagogy::390102 - Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
39 - Education::3901 - Curriculum and pedagogy::390115 - Work integrated learning (incl. internships)
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