Helping others or a rewarding career? Investigating student motivations to train as social workers in England

Martin Stevens, Jo Moriarty, Jill Manthorpe, Shereen Hussein, Endellion Sharpe, Joan Orme, Gillian Mcyntyre, Kate Cavanagh, Pam Green Lister, Beth Crisp

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    34 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Understanding why people want to be social workers is important both for developing social work education and for the profession as a whole. This article presents evidence about the motivations of students enrolled on social work degree programmes in England and draws on data from 3000 responses of three successive intakes of students responding to six online surveys and 26 focus group interviews involving 168 students from nine different social work programmes in six case study sites. The article locates these data in the context of earlier studies of social workers’ motivations, the changing policy context and the changes introduced by the new degree. Similar to previous studies, the current analysis shows that altruistic motivations dominated, but students were also influenced by career issues and the day-to-day aspects of social work. The data highlight continuities with the former qualification in social work in the UK (the DipSW) and provide evidence that the introduction of the social work degree has not dramatically changed the underlying motivations of social work students.
    Understanding student motivations is important in terms of recruitment to social work qualifying programmes and subsequent retention within the profession. Social work educators and employers need to pay attention to the consequences of mismatches between motivations and expectations about what professional practice involves.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages16-36
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Social Work
    Volume12
    Issue number1
    Early online date22 Nov 2010
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

    Fingerprint

    Social Work
    England
    social worker
    social work
    career
    Students
    student
    profession
    Social Workers
    Professional Practice
    Focus Groups
    online survey
    mismatch
    qualification
    evidence
    employer
    continuity
    Interviews
    educator
    Education

    Keywords

    • social work
    • motivations
    • social work education
    • social work research

    Cite this

    Stevens, M., Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J., Hussein, S., Sharpe, E., Orme, J., ... Crisp, B. (2012). Helping others or a rewarding career? Investigating student motivations to train as social workers in England. Journal of Social Work, 12(1), 16-36. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017310380085
    Stevens, Martin ; Moriarty, Jo ; Manthorpe, Jill ; Hussein, Shereen ; Sharpe, Endellion ; Orme, Joan ; Mcyntyre, Gillian ; Cavanagh, Kate ; Green Lister, Pam ; Crisp, Beth. / Helping others or a rewarding career? Investigating student motivations to train as social workers in England. In: Journal of Social Work. 2012 ; Vol. 12, No. 1. pp. 16-36.
    @article{8c740dba65af4983a34f155d851546d8,
    title = "Helping others or a rewarding career? Investigating student motivations to train as social workers in England",
    abstract = "Understanding why people want to be social workers is important both for developing social work education and for the profession as a whole. This article presents evidence about the motivations of students enrolled on social work degree programmes in England and draws on data from 3000 responses of three successive intakes of students responding to six online surveys and 26 focus group interviews involving 168 students from nine different social work programmes in six case study sites. The article locates these data in the context of earlier studies of social workers’ motivations, the changing policy context and the changes introduced by the new degree. Similar to previous studies, the current analysis shows that altruistic motivations dominated, but students were also influenced by career issues and the day-to-day aspects of social work. The data highlight continuities with the former qualification in social work in the UK (the DipSW) and provide evidence that the introduction of the social work degree has not dramatically changed the underlying motivations of social work students. Understanding student motivations is important in terms of recruitment to social work qualifying programmes and subsequent retention within the profession. Social work educators and employers need to pay attention to the consequences of mismatches between motivations and expectations about what professional practice involves.",
    keywords = "social work, motivations, social work education, social work research",
    author = "Martin Stevens and Jo Moriarty and Jill Manthorpe and Shereen Hussein and Endellion Sharpe and Joan Orme and Gillian Mcyntyre and Kate Cavanagh and {Green Lister}, Pam and Beth Crisp",
    year = "2012",
    month = "1",
    doi = "10.1177/1468017310380085",
    language = "English",
    volume = "12",
    pages = "16--36",
    journal = "Journal of Social Work",
    issn = "1468-0173",
    number = "1",

    }

    Stevens, M, Moriarty, J, Manthorpe, J, Hussein, S, Sharpe, E, Orme, J, Mcyntyre, G, Cavanagh, K, Green Lister, P & Crisp, B 2012, 'Helping others or a rewarding career? Investigating student motivations to train as social workers in England' Journal of Social Work, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 16-36. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017310380085

    Helping others or a rewarding career? Investigating student motivations to train as social workers in England. / Stevens, Martin; Moriarty, Jo; Manthorpe, Jill; Hussein, Shereen; Sharpe, Endellion; Orme, Joan; Mcyntyre, Gillian; Cavanagh, Kate; Green Lister, Pam; Crisp, Beth.

    In: Journal of Social Work, Vol. 12, No. 1, 01.2012, p. 16-36.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Helping others or a rewarding career? Investigating student motivations to train as social workers in England

    AU - Stevens, Martin

    AU - Moriarty, Jo

    AU - Manthorpe, Jill

    AU - Hussein, Shereen

    AU - Sharpe, Endellion

    AU - Orme, Joan

    AU - Mcyntyre, Gillian

    AU - Cavanagh, Kate

    AU - Green Lister, Pam

    AU - Crisp, Beth

    PY - 2012/1

    Y1 - 2012/1

    N2 - Understanding why people want to be social workers is important both for developing social work education and for the profession as a whole. This article presents evidence about the motivations of students enrolled on social work degree programmes in England and draws on data from 3000 responses of three successive intakes of students responding to six online surveys and 26 focus group interviews involving 168 students from nine different social work programmes in six case study sites. The article locates these data in the context of earlier studies of social workers’ motivations, the changing policy context and the changes introduced by the new degree. Similar to previous studies, the current analysis shows that altruistic motivations dominated, but students were also influenced by career issues and the day-to-day aspects of social work. The data highlight continuities with the former qualification in social work in the UK (the DipSW) and provide evidence that the introduction of the social work degree has not dramatically changed the underlying motivations of social work students. Understanding student motivations is important in terms of recruitment to social work qualifying programmes and subsequent retention within the profession. Social work educators and employers need to pay attention to the consequences of mismatches between motivations and expectations about what professional practice involves.

    AB - Understanding why people want to be social workers is important both for developing social work education and for the profession as a whole. This article presents evidence about the motivations of students enrolled on social work degree programmes in England and draws on data from 3000 responses of three successive intakes of students responding to six online surveys and 26 focus group interviews involving 168 students from nine different social work programmes in six case study sites. The article locates these data in the context of earlier studies of social workers’ motivations, the changing policy context and the changes introduced by the new degree. Similar to previous studies, the current analysis shows that altruistic motivations dominated, but students were also influenced by career issues and the day-to-day aspects of social work. The data highlight continuities with the former qualification in social work in the UK (the DipSW) and provide evidence that the introduction of the social work degree has not dramatically changed the underlying motivations of social work students. Understanding student motivations is important in terms of recruitment to social work qualifying programmes and subsequent retention within the profession. Social work educators and employers need to pay attention to the consequences of mismatches between motivations and expectations about what professional practice involves.

    KW - social work

    KW - motivations

    KW - social work education

    KW - social work research

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=83655192446&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1177/1468017310380085

    DO - 10.1177/1468017310380085

    M3 - Article

    VL - 12

    SP - 16

    EP - 36

    JO - Journal of Social Work

    T2 - Journal of Social Work

    JF - Journal of Social Work

    SN - 1468-0173

    IS - 1

    ER -