Field education organisational roles and responsibilities
A snapshot of Australian social work providers
Keywords:: Neo-liberalism; Quality Field Education; Roles and Responsibilities; Sustainability
Considerable research has been conducted on the changing context of Australian social work field education including availability and types of placements and supervision models. The purpose of this study is to contribute to this research by exploring how social work education providers are structuring their organisational processes and practices in response to these contextual changes. All Australian social work education providers were invited to participate in an online survey aimed at producing a snapshot of contemporary social work field education roles and responsibilities and contextual issues. The study findings identify 22 different roles and responsibilities performed by a large number of staff including social work academics, Work Integrated Learning teams and other professional and administrative staff teams. Often these roles and responsibilities overlap or are shared. This highlights the need for close collaboration, given that many of these staff do not report to the Head of the Social Work Academic Organisation Unit. Key contextual issues are also explored.
Appleton, C., Rankine, M., & Hare, J. (2016). Research pods: Breaking down barriers, demystifying research for social work students and practitioners in the practice setting. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 8(2), 107–122.
Ayala, J., Drolet, J., Fulton, A., Hewson, J., Letkemann, L., Baynton, M., Elliott, G., Judge-Stasiak, A., Blaug, C., Gerard Tertreault, A., & Schweizer, E. (2018). Restructuring social work field education in 21st century Canada: From crisis management to sustainability. Canadian Social Work Review, 35(2), 45–65. https://doi.org/10.7202/1058479ar
Bragg, J., Adamson, T., McBride, R., Miller-Cribs, J., Nay, E., Munoz, R., & Howell, D. (2021). Preparing students for field education using innovative field labs and social simulation. Field Educator, Simmons School of Social Work, 10(2), 1–21.
Buck, P., Fletcher, P., & Bradley, J. (2016). Decision-making in social work field education: a “good enough” framework. Social Work Education, 35(4), 402–413. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2015.1109073
Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2017). Thematic analysis. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(3), 297–329. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2016.1262613
Cleak, H., & Zuchowski, I. (2020). Mapping social work field education in the 21st century: A national survey of the Australian context. The British Journal of Social Work, 50(2), 427–446.
Crane, P., Spencer, A., & Duthie, D. (2018). From institution-centred to place-responsive practicums: Reflections from engagement with the Cherbourg Aboriginal community. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 20(1), 122–138.
Davis, A., & Mirick, R. (2021). COVID-19 and social work field education: A descriptive study of students’ experiences. Journal of Social Work Education, 57(1), 120–136. https://doi.org/10.1080/10437797.2021.1929621
Drolet, J. (2020). A new partnership: Transforming the field education landscape. Field Educator, Simmons School of Social Work, 10(1), 1–18.
Egan, R., David, C., & Williams, J. (2021). An off-site supervision model of field education practice: Innovating while remaining rigorous in a shifting field education context. Australian Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2021.1898004
Harms, L., Naish, K., Stanley, J., Hill, N., Raysmith, H., Thomas, J., & Butera, A. (2017). Bringing business, community and university into partnership: Innovation in field education. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 19(1), 71–79.
Hay, K. (2018). “There is competition”: Facing the reality of field education in New Zealand. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 30(2), 16–27.
Hay, K. (2020). “It’s a whole orchestra”: What are the instrumental elements in quality field education? Social Work Education, 39(4), 417–429. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2019.1651261
Hay, K., Dale, M., & Yeung, P. (2016). Influencing the future generation of social workers: Field educator perspectives on social work field education. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 18(1), 39–54.
Heerink, S., Sinclair-Phillips, V., Jagger, A., & Hay, K. (2021). Expanding field education: Hope Trust Community Garden. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 33(1), 112–115. https://doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol33iss1id829
Hill, N. (2017). Field education: Strengthening the evidence base. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 19(1), 113–120.
Hosken, N., Green, L., Laughton, J., Van Ingen, R., Walker, F., Goldingay, S., & Vassos, S. (2016). A Rotational Social Work Field Placement Model in Regional Health, Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 18(1), 72–87.
Johnson, B., Laing, M., & Williams, C. (2018). The possibilities for studio pedagogy in social work field education: Reflections on a pilot case study. Advances in Social Work &Welfare Education, 20(2), 90–100.
Lucas, J., & Vassos, S. (2019). Pedagogical intent and placement diversity in social work field education experience: One university’s experience. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 21(1), 51–66.
Ledger, S., Hillman, W., Harreveld, B., & de Warren, D. (2017). Field education as signature pedagogy – Insights for Australian social work. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 19(1), 51–66.
Morley, C., Macfarlane, S., & Ablett, P. (2017). The neoliberal colonisation of social work education: A critical analysis and practices for resistance. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 19(2), 25–40.
Rollins, W., Egan, R., Zuchowski, I., Duncan, M., Chee, P., Muncey, P., Hill, N., & Higgins, M. (2017). Leading through collaboration: The National Field Education Network. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 19(1), 48–61.
Short, M., Russ, E., Gartshore, S., Morton, N., Pisk, D., Fitzroy, R., Hitchen, S., Fyson, S., Jones, D., Burrowes, B., & Whitby, A. (2021). Connectivity: Engaging with industry in the creation of student placement opportunities. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 22(2), 83–100.
Srikanthan, S. (2019). Keeping the boss happy: Black and minority ethnic students’ accounts of the field education crisis. British Journal of Social Work, 49(8), 2168–2186. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcz016
Stevens, F., Milton, T., Rhodes, J., & Chee, P. (2021). Developing a multi-placement opportunity in a human service agency. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 22(2), 69–82.
Zuchowski, I., Cleak, H., Nickson, A., & Spencer, A. (2019). A national survey of Australian social work field education programs: Innovation with limited capacity. Australian Social Work, 72(1), 75–90. https://doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2018.1511740
Copyright (c) 2023 Copyright © Australian & New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.