Getting to know you: social work students' experiences of direct work with children in education settings

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Abstract

This article examines a practice learning initiative placing social work students in primary and secondary schools. Consideration is given to how far this contemporary model of learning offers an optimum and emancipatory framework, which takes account of the well‐being and holistic needs of individual children. There is a pressing need to offer more accessible services to socially excluded children. Social workers in training offer an opportunity to engage in practice contemporary with organisational changes being implemented through the government's policy of social inclusion and programme of legislation. This paper identifies some of the practical and innovative responses from students during their practice learning placements in school environments, which highlights their success in developing initial communication skills with children as an essential foundation for future interventions. Resources that students bring to such placements can increase the capacity of inter‐professional collaboration to improve outcomes for troubled children, and build trust in the social work profession subsequently. On a personal level, in order to improve their relationships with children, students worked through their own feelings to gain insight into a child's individual needs. This provided students with an appreciation of issues, problems and strategies required to be effective within the education environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-317
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Work Education
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2007

Keywords

  • circle and nurture groups
  • direct work with children
  • practice learning
  • schools

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