Delivering Social Work Education on Case Reviews and Inquiry Reports: An Exploratory Study of Students' Perspectives in Northern Ireland

Stan Houston, Mary McColgan

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Abstract

It is self-evident that we live in the age of inquiry where the negative impact of risk has been examined through numerous formal processes. In the wake of such scrutiny, there have been repeated recommendations for better training of the professionals charged with safeguarding the welfare of vulnerable individuals. Yet there has been very little examination of how student social workers, in particular, evaluate this training. This exploratory study responded to this gap through a mixed-methods design centring on the views of qualifying and post-qualifying social work students attending courses within two regional universities in Northern Ireland. The study found that, in the main, the cohorts responded favourably to certain aspects of the curriculum and how they were delivered. That said, the emotive nature of the case review and inquiry reports was inadequately addressed in the classroom and was not processed afterwards through a psycho-social framework. In effect, students were often left with residual anxieties that potentially hampered learning. On the basis of the findings, the study calls for further research into this highly significant area of professional competence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-435
Number of pages21
JournalChild Care in Practice
Volume20
Issue number4
Early online date08 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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