From being ‘caught in the middle of a war’ to being ‘in a really safe space’- social work field education with external supervision


  • Ines Zuchowski James Cook University


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.


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