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Prepared for Practice?: Graduating Social Work Students' Reflections on Their Education, Competence and Skills
Stockholms universitet.
The University of Queensland, Australia .
2014 (English)In: Social Work Education, ISSN 0261-5479, E-ISSN 1470-1227, Vol. 33, no 6, 704-717 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The paper encompasses the views of 13 Swedish graduating social work students on their education, competence, skills and expectations for their future roles as social workers. It presents the findings of the first phase of a longitudinal study where students in Sweden and Australia are followed from university and during the first 18 months in the profession. A qualitative methodology was employed and semi-structured interviews were conducted with the students just prior to graduating. The most salient theme was the strong wish for more time in contact with the field. All of the students would have preferred at least one additional period of field placement. A strong wish for clarity, particularly in relation to understanding what it means to practise social work, emerged. Although most of the graduates talked about their self-development and described themselves as having become more critical and more self-confident, they perceived themselves as more or less unprepared for most social work positions and expected to receive considerable support and guidance in their workplaces. The proportion of theoretical and research courses in comparison to the teaching of practice skills and field placements within Swedish social work education is discussed. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 33, no 6, 704-717 p.
Keyword [en]
Fitness to Practise, Profession, Reflection, Students
National Category
Social Work Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-22939DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2014.881468ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84906083410OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-22939DiVA: diva2:1051501
Available from: 2016-12-02 Created: 2016-12-02 Last updated: 2016-12-02Bibliographically approved

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Tham, Pia
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