From being ‘caught in the middle of a war’ to being ‘in a really safe space’- social work field education with external supervision
Keywords:social work field education, supervision, student
Social work placements are vital to the students’ learning regarding the application of theory to practice. Placements with external supervision are becoming more prevalent, but may be considered to be less desirable than placements with internal supervision. Literature on student placements with external supervision emphasises the importance of establishing and maintaining the triad relationship of student, on-site and off-site supervisor and the provision of continued support. This article reports on a recent study exploring student perspectives on placement involving external supervision. The study shows that students identify a range of experiences, challenges and opportunities in placements with external supervision. From the students’ point of view placement preparation, the matching of students to placements and supervisors, the potential benefits of receiving supervision external to the agency and the lack of relationships between the parties involved may need to be considered more carefully in placements with external supervision.
AASW (2010) Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards, Australian Association of Social Workers, Canberra, ACT.
Abram, F., Hartung, M. and Wernet, S. (2000) ‘The nonMSW task supervisor, MSW field instructor, and the practicum student’, Journal of Teaching in Social Work, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 171-85.
Agllias, K. (2010) ‘Student to practitioner: A study of preparedness for social work practitioners’, Australian Social Work, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 346-60.
Barretti, M.A. (2007) ‘Teachers and field instructors as student role models’, Journal of Teaching in Social Work, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 215-39.
Barton, H., Bell, K. and Bowles, W. (2005) ‘Help or hindrance? Outcomes of social work student placements’, Australian Social Work, vol. 58, no. 3, pp. 301-12.
Beddoe, L. (2012) ‘External supervision in social Work: Power, space, risk, and the search for safety’, Australian Social Work, vol. 65, no. 2, pp. 197-213.
Camilleri, P. (2001) ‘Educating for social work: Facing the new century’, Australian Social Work, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 16-20.
Carthwait, C.L. (2011) The Social Work Practicum, 5 edn, Allyn and Bacon, Boston.
Chinnery, S.A. and Beddoe, L. (2011) ‘Taking active steps towards the competent use of self in social work’, Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 127-52.
Clare, M. (2001) ‘Thinking systemically about fieldwork education - A third way’, Australian Social Work, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 53-66.
Cleak, H. and Smith, D. (2012) ‘Student satisfaction with models of field placement supervision’, Australian Social Work, vol. 65, no. 2, pp. 243-58.
Cleak, H. and Wilson, J. (2013) Making the Most of Field Placement, 3 edn, Cengage Learning Australia, South Melbourne.
Creswell, J.W. (2007) Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches, (2nd edn), Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Egan, R. (2005) ‘Field education as a catalyst for community strengthening strategies: The time is right’, Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 35-41.
Gair, S. and Thomas, Y. (2008) ‘Ensuring safe passage: identifying the threat of workplace violence against tertiary students’, Journal of Occupational Health and Safety Australia and New Zealand, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 43-51.
Henderson, K.J. (2010) ‘Work-based supervisors: The neglected partners in practice learning’, Social Work Education, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 490-502.
Karban, K. (1999) ‘Long-arm practice teaching for the diploma in social work: The views of students and practice teachers’,
Social Work Education, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 59-70.
Klein, R. (1994) ‘How to do what we want to do: Thoughts about feminist methodology’, in R Klein (ed.), Feminist research methodology: A reader, Deakin University, Geelong, pp. 88- 104.
Lam, C.M., Wong, H. and Leung, T.T.F.( 2005) ‘An unfinished reflexive journey: Social work students’ reflection on their placement experiences’, British Journal of Social Work, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 91-105.
LeVasseur, J.J.( 2003) ‘The problem of bracketing in phenomenology’, Qualitative Health Research, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 408-20.
Maidment, J.(2003) ‘Problems experienced by students on field placement: Using research findings to inform curriculum design and content’, Australian Social Work, vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 50-60.
Maidment, J. (2006) ‘Using on-line delivery to support students during practicum placements’, Australian Social Work, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 47-55.
Maidment, J. and Woodward, P. (2002) ‘Student supervision in context: A model for external supervision’, In Shardlow, S. and M. Doel, Learning to Practice: International Approaches, Jessica Kingsley, London, pp.93-109
McAucliffe, D. and Sudbery, J. (2005) ‘ ‘’Who do I tell?’: Support and consultation in cases of ethical conflict’, Journal of Social Work, vol. 5, no. 21, pp. 21-43.
McMahon, M. (2002) ‘Some supervision practicalities’, In McMahon, M. and W Patton, Supervision in the helping profession: A practical Approach, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, NSW, pp. 17-26.
Minichiello, V., Aroni, R. and Hays, T. (2008) In-Depth Interviewing, 3 edn, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, NSW.
Moustakas, C.( 1994) Phenomenological Research Methods, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Neuman, W.L.( 2006) Social Research Methods, 6 edn, Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA.
Ornstein, E. and Moses, H. (2010) ‘Goodness of fit: A relational approach to field instruction’, Journal of Teaching in Social Work, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 101-14.
Patford, J.( 2000) ‘Can I do social work and do I want to? Students perception of significant learning incidents during practica’, Australian Social Work, vol. 53, no. 2, pp. 21-8.
Patford, J. (2001) ‘Educating for cross-disciplinary collaboration: Present trends and future possibilities’, Australian Social Work, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 73-82.
Plath, D. (2003) ‘An experience based model of practice learning: International perspective from Australia’, Journal of Practice Teaching, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 23-38.
Razack, N. (2000) ‘Students at risk in the field’, In Cooper, L. and L Briggs, Fieldwork in the Human Services. Theory and practice for Field Educators, Practice Teachers and Supervisors., Allen and Unwin, Sydney, pp. 195-204.
Ryan, M., Barns, A. and McAucliffe, D. (2011) ‘Part-time employment and effects on Australian social work students: A report on a national study’, Australian Social Work, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 313-29.
Schwandt, T.A. (1994) ‘Constructivist, interpretivist approaches to human inquiry’, In Denzin, N.K. and Y. S. Lincoln,
Handbook of Qualitative Research, Sage, Thousand Oaks, pp. 118- 37.
Tully, C., Kropf, N. and Price, J. (1999) ‘Is field a hard hat area? A study of violence in field placements’, Journal of Social Work Education, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 191-9.
Ung, K.(2002) ‘The complex and diverse landscape of agency and external supervision’, In McMahon, M. and W. Patton,
Supervision in the Helping Profession: A Practical Approach, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, NSW, pp. 91-104.
Unger, J. (2003) ‘Supporting agency field instructors in forgotonia’, Journal of Teaching in Social Work, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 105-21.
Wayne, J., Bogo, M. and Raskin, M.(2010) ‘Field education as the signature pedagogy of social work education’, Journal of Social work education, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 327-39.
Zuchowski, I.(2011) ‘Social work student placements with external supervision: Last resort or value-adding in the Asia Pacific?’, In Noble, C. and M Henrickson , Social Work Field Education and Supervision across the Asia-Pacific., University of Sydney Press, Sydney, NSW, pp. 375-97.
Copyright (c) 2013 Australian and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.