Exploring Formal Supervision in Social Work Field Education: Issues and Challenges for Students and Supervisors
Keywords:Social work field education, Student supervision
This article describes a qualitative study examining processes and issues for social work field education supervisors and social work students engaging in formal supervision. The study is a collaborative partnership between two major hospitals in Western Sydney and The University of Sydney.
Collaboration between social work field supervisors and universities as field education partners is important in the provision of placement experiences for social work students and for supporting field educators in provision of quality learning experiences. Field supervision is a key feature of social work placements and forms a compulsory component of all accredited social work degree programs in Australia. Effective supervision assists students to draw links between theory and practice, to develop critical reflection skills, to understand the complexity of ethical practice and to promote professional growth and identity.
The findings provide some insight into both students’ and supervisors’ experiences of super- vision. It is anticipated that the results will assist social work and university field educators to better prepare both supervisors in the field as well as students in social work practice learning.
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