Creating Connections between New Graduates and Social Work Students on Placement


  • Melissa Loos Westmead Hospital
  • Sarang Kim University of Sydney


Student placement, Coaching and mentoring, Creating Connections, Participatory Action Research (PAR)


Coaching and mentoring programs are recognised as significant to the learning experience and sense of purpose as a social worker for both students on placement and for new graduate social workers. Both groups have their learning experiences and sense of purpose as social workers enhanced by coaching and mentoring programs.

This paper explores the ongoing endeavour to provide effective learning experiences for students on placement. A research initiative involving coaching and mentoring was trialled in the Student Education Unit of a social work department in a large teaching hospital in metropolitan Sydney. Entitled “Creating Connections,” and conducted by new graduate social workers and social work students on placement, this initiative utilised Participatory Action Research methodology (PAR) to explore the effectiveness of coaching and mentoring programs (Baum, MacDougall, & Smith, 2006). The results revealed its effectiveness for both students and new graduate social workers’ learning experience, proving coaching and mentoring to be an innovative model of supplementary learning for field placements.

Author Biographies

Melissa Loos, Westmead Hospital

Social Work Educator

Sarang Kim, University of Sydney

Social Work Student


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