Developing Partnerships between University and Local Service Agencies: Exploring Innovative Social Work Placements in Rural and Remote NSW Public Schools
Keywords:Field education, Social work, Innovation, Rural, School wellbeing
Social and economic factors contribute to health and educational outcomes for children living in disadvantaged areas, particularly in rural and remote areas. Young people residing outside metropolitan areas are not attaining comparable educational outcomes as their city counterparts, including completion of secondary school and higher education. A brief review of literature reveals core themes which support the need for an effective social work program in the school setting, being: social inclusion, innovation of practice, and facilitation of community partnerships. This case study details how these three inter-related components became a collaborative project utilising one remote town as a case example. The project focuses on wellbeing of school students via direct practice, group work and whole school community engagement strategies. Collaborative and innovative programs through a sustainable field practicum can lead to university and service partnerships in rural settings. Results include an emerging research partnership between the university and local services to address local needs, and an innovative fieldwork program for social work students.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). (2014a). Lower education attainment linked to less social participation. Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4159.0
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). (2014b). Remoteness limits access to services. Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/ abs@.nsf/mf/4159.0
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). (2014c). One parent families. Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/ mf/4159.0
Brekke, I. (2015). Health and educational success in adolescents: A longitudinal study. BMC Public Health, 15. doi:10.1186/ s12889-015-1966-0
Chenoweth, L. (2012). Employing and supporting young people’s belonging in rural towns. In J. Maidment & U. Bay (Eds.),
Social work in rural Australia. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
Clark, C. (2004). Hurt: Inside the world of today’s teenagers. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Cumming, J., & Mawdesley, R. (2013). Australia, quality education and the best interests of the child. Australian Journal of Education, 57(3), 292–309.
Department of Education and Communities (DoE). (n.d.). Connected communities. Retrieved from http://www.dec.nsw.gov.au/ about-the-department/our-reforms/connected-communities
Ferrari, R. (2015). Writing narrative style literature reviews. Medical Writing, 24(4), 230–235. doi:10.1179/204748061 5Z.000000000329
Gray, M., & Webb, S. (2009). Critical social work. In M. Gray & S. Webb (Eds.), Social work theories and methods (pp. 76–85). Far East Square, Singapore: SAGE Publications.
Healy, K. (2004). Social workers in the new human services marketplace: Trends, challenges and responses. Australian Social Work, 57(2), 103–114.
Hick, S., & Murray, K. (2009). Structural social work. In M. Gray & S. Webb (Eds.), Social work theories and methods (pp. 86–97). Far East Square, Singapore: SAGE Publications.
Jonson-Reid, M. (2008). School social work: Engaging the community. Children & Schools, 30(3), 131–132. Jonson-Reid, M. (2010). Engaging students. Children & Schools, 32(1), 3–4.
Kenny, S. (2006). Developing communities for the future (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Thomson.
Kidger, J., Evans, R., Tilling, K., Hollingworth, W., Campbell, R., Ford, T., … Gunnell, D. (2016). Protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial of an intervention to improve the mental health support and training available to secondary school teachers – the WISE (Wellbeing in Secondary Education) study. BMC Public Health, 16(1). http://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016- 3756-8
Knight, A., Shakeshaft, A., Harvard, A., Maple, M., Foley, C., Shakeshaft, B. (2016). The quality and effectiveness of interventions that target multiple risk factors among young people: A systematic review, Journal of Australian and New Zealand Public Health. doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12573
Lee, J.-S. (2012). School social work in Australia. Australian Social Work, 65(4), 552–570. doi:10.1080/0312407X.2012.675343
O’Brien, M. (2009). Social work, poverty and disadvantage. In M. Connolly, & L. Harms (Eds.), Social work: contexts and practices (pp. 68–80). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.
O’Donovan, R., Berman, N., & Wierenga, A. (2015). How schools can move beyond exclusion. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 19(6), 645–658. doi:10.1080/13603116.2014.961686
O’Leary, Z. (2015). Researching real-world problems. A guide to methods of inquiry. Singapore: SAGE Publications.
Pagan-Rivera, M. (2014). Using integrative short-term treatment in addressing the social-emotional needs of immigrant students: Implications for school social work practice. School Social Work Journal, 38(2), 61–76.
Roach Anleu, S. (2011). Deviance, crime and social control. In J. Germov & M. Poole (Eds.), Public sociology: An introduction to Australian society (pp. 307–328). Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
R U OK?, (2017). Retrieved from https://www.ruok.org.au/
Senior, E., Carr, S., & Gold, L. (2016). Strengthening support to families: Basing a family support worker at a primary school in Melbourne, Australia. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 36(6), 499–511.
Sisask, M., Värnik, P., Värnik, A., Apter, A., Balazs, J., Balint, M., .. Wasserman, D. (2013).Teacher satisfaction with school and psychological well-being affects their readiness to help children with mental health problems. Health Education Journal, 73(4), 382–393. doi:10.1177/0017896913485742
Testa, D. (2011). School social work: A school-based field placement. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 23(4), 14–25.
Testa, D. (2012). Cross-disciplinary collaboration and health promotion in schools. Australian Social Work, 65(4), 535–551. doi:10.1080/0312407X. 2011.645242
Thomson, S. (2011). Challenges for Australian education. Research Developments, 25(2).
Western, M., & Baxter, J. (2011). Class and inequality in Australia. In J. Germov, & M. Poole (Eds.), Public Sociology: An introduction to Australian society (2nd ed., pp. 206–229). Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
Wilson, K., Stemp, K., & McGinty, S. (2011). Re-engaging young people with education and training: What are the alternatives?. Youth Studies Australia, 30(4). Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com
Winkworth, G., & McArthur, M. (2008). Back to schools: Human services workers increasing opportunities for early intervention and social inclusion from the school base. Children Australia, 33(4), 5–12. doi:10.1017/S1035077200000389
World Health Organisation (WHO). (2010). A conceptual framework for action on the social determinants of health. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/sdhconference/resources/ConceptualframeworkforactiononSDH_eng.pdf
Copyright (c) 2018 Australian and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.