Social work students as community partners in a family intervention programme

Hafford-Letchfield, Trish ORCID:, Thomas, Bernadette and McDonald, Lynn (2016) Social work students as community partners in a family intervention programme. Journal of Social Work . pp. 1-20. ISSN 1468-0173 (Published online first)

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Summary: This paper describes the findings from the evaluation of a UK initiative which engaged social work students as community partners within an educational based family intervention programme. Fourteen social work students in the first year of a BA (Hons) were placed in the programme to meet the volunteering requirements of their 'Community Project'. By engaging with the community-based family programme at an early stage in their education, students experienced the benefits of interventions, focussing on sustainability, citizenship and parent participation. We describe the approach and discuss the evaluation outcomes to illustrate the potential of utilising co-learning with families in social work education. In taking up the role of community partners, students observed first-hand the value of incorporating horizontal relationships into their learning and experienced direct knowledge exchange with service users at an early stage in their training.

Findings: The findings suggest that this experience enabled students to connect with conceptualisations of macro alongside micro practice in their professional development as social workers. Further, connecting critical social theories with the direct experience of families promoted the learners own empowerment and conscientization.

Application: This provided a means of embedding social work values and aspirations towards social justice in their future practice orientation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online before print July 6, 2016
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 19903
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Depositing User: Trish Hafford-Letchfield
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 09:58
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2019 01:11

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