Readiness to practice social work in Aotearoa new Zealand: Perceptions of students and educators
The readiness to practice of newly qualified social workers in Aotearoa New Zealand is a contested subject. In recent years, criticism by public figures including government ministers and the New Zealand government appointed Children’s Commissioner have stimulated debate within the profession. Media critique of social work practice has highlighted many of the challenges faced by social workers. Significant policy developments, in particular a substantive government review of child protection services (Ministry of Social Development, 2015), have also increased the scrutiny of the capabilities of social workers. A timely three-year multi-phase project ‘Enhancing readiness to practise’ is the first large study of social work education to be funded in Aotearoa New Zealand. The findings reported here have been derived from data collected in a series of focus group interviews with social work educators and students, in which they reflected on curricula in their programmes and explored their perceptions of readiness to practise. Overall, educators were positive about the preparedness of their graduating students but held concerns over the organisational environments they would enter. Students were more ambivalent about their readiness, but hopeful and committed to on-going learning.
SubjectsSocial Work education
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