Students’ suitability for social work: Developing a framework for field education
Keywords:Field Education, Supervisors, Social Work Students, Suitability, Social Work Education
Social work field education is a path of evaluating student suitability for the social work profession. This evaluation relies heavily on the field educator’s practice framework and inter- pretation of the professional standards of social work. The variable nature of this framework to guide evaluation can be problematic in providing guidance to field educators and students when problems emerge relating to the student’s conduct. This article presents an approach for discussing suitability and un-suitability based on the authors’ work with field educators.
The authors ran workshops with field educators exploring student suitability and unsuitability for social work. Based on this work they developed a model defining those terms and sought and integrated feedback from field educators, further refining the model that is presented here. Key considerations in determining suitability are a student’s willingness and ability to critically reflect on and address identified concerns. Assessing suitability for social work is presented as a joint endeavour of students, field educators and academic liaison people as key stakeholders that is steeped in professional values, ethics and standards.
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