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|Title:||Supporting New Practitioners in Child Welfare: Managers' Views|
|Authors:||Huynh-Lauesen, Dinh (Julie)|
|Abstract:||Child protection workers, who are often graduates of schools of social work, are the frontline professionals who are charged with making determinations about the safety of children, and developing interventions to address these safety concerns. Determining the safety of children is an extremely difficult process due to the complexity of the issues that may exist in any one situation, including the impact of social problems, the complexity of human behaviour, and the need to predict future actions and consequences. On top of these challenges, child protection workers are subject to strict reporting and practice requirements imposed by the government and are required to provide a service mandated by legislation and funded by taxpayers. Given such responsibilities and constraints how does a person get prepared to work in the field of child welfare? The purpose of this research was to explore what child welfare managers think prepares new BSW graduates to enter into the field of child welfare. In particular, how well are BSW graduates currently prepared? Is there a need to improve preparedness, and if so, what could be done to achieve this? Literature provided key but contradictory perspectives in the debate around the preparedness of new workers. However, it is recognized that a partnership between education and child welfare could have beneficial effect on preparedness. Using the approaches of Interpretive Social Science and Critical Social Science, this qualitative research study was designed using semi-structured interviews to generate the data. Data was interpreted and analyzed through the techniques of coding and memo-writing from Grounded Theory. A colleague conducted a separate study of new workers which provided an opportunity to compare and contrast managers perspectives with those of new workers leading to a clearer understanding of preparedness. Overall, new workers are deemed to be prepared in terms of having the knowledge base that is needed to start working in child welfare. However, child welfare managers believe more learning opportunities need to be built into school programs that focus on applying theory to practice, child welfare specific knowledge, and understanding the complexity of mandated work. Field placements in child welfare settings, are considered to be valuable in preparing students prior to employment. Child welfare managers believe that an alliance between education and the field could optimize the readiness of new workers so as to ensure quality service for families in our community.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Supporting New Practitioners in Child Welfare.doc||Thesis paper||467 kB||Microsoft Word||View/Open|
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