Nix, Ingrid; Cooper, Barry; Davis, Roger and McCormick, Michael
Prepared for Practice? Exploring and Evaluating the First Six Months of Post-qualified Practice in Social Work.
The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.
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This project explores how effective the Social work degree has been in enabling graduates to feel prepared for the practice of social work. Quantitative and qualitative data from online questionnaires and interviews with twelve graduates revealed that graduates perceived they were more confident, despite coming from a background where they were already practicing. They identified ways that this confidence (including in ICT and IL skills) has contributed to their preparedness for practice and their willingness to shape and challenge practices. Areas of practice where graduates felt least prepared included working with hostile service users. In terms of ICT skills development, variations in systems and technologyrelated practices resulted in tensions between the degree providing supportive guidance which fit particular software or social work settings compared with less supportive generic guidance which might be more widely applicable. IL skills were perceived to have more generic applicability.
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