Practical learning: achieving excellence in the human services

January 23-25 2008 Edinburgh International Conference Centre

Practice learning and social work: what difference has a degree made?

Keywords: Practice learning, social work, evaluation

Authors: Jo Moriarty (King's College London); Martin Stevens (King's College London); Gillian MacIntyre (Glasgow School of Social Work); Joan Orme (Glasgow School of Social Work)

The integration of theory and practice is of key concern to all those involved in delivering professional qualifying education. Increasing the time spent on practice placements was one of the key changes introduced as part of the implementation of the social work degree level qualification in England, This paper will draw on information from the national evaluation funded by the Department of Health to discuss how this change has been received by students, practice assessors, social work educators and employers. Social work students are also increasingly working in non social work and multi agency settings and the paper will consider the implications of these changes not just for social work education but for all those for involved in working across the professions.

The extent to which pro-active placements help prepare students for professional is an important issue for policymakers, educators, employers, practitioners, students and people who use services. This paper will offer information from multiple perspectives. The themes which emerged from the data highlighted the differing views held by differing stakeholders and will resonate with the experiences of many of those attending the conference.

Date: Wednesday 23 January 2008, 3.30-4.00

Venue: Carrick One

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Organised by the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services in association with PEPE (Practical Experiences in Professional Education).