Social Work Placements: A Traveller's Guide


Placements can be one of the most exciting parts of your social work training but also one of the most daunting. This Guide will help you to make the most of your practice learning opportunities.

The guide highlights how you can make the most of your placement, as well as ...

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Social Work Placements: A Traveller's Guide

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Placements can be one of the most exciting parts of your social work training but also one of the most daunting. This Guide will help you to make the most of your practice learning opportunities.

The guide highlights how you can make the most of your placement, as well as anticipating some of the problem areas and pitfalls to avoid. It covers:

  • preparing for your placement
  • getting to grips with placement documentation
  • understanding how and what you might learn on placement
  • integrating theory with practice
  • non-traditional placements
  • anticipating difficulties and dealing with them
  • getting the best from assessment and evaluation.

Using a cast of ‘fellow travellers’ – students, work-based supervisors, practice educators and college tutors – to illustrate issues raised, the Guide is accessible and contains plenty of case studies. It is the ideal book for anyone wanting to make sure their placement goes as well as possible, whether they are a student or a supervisor.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This book provides an in-depth guide to social work placements using the metaphor of a travel guide to offer an entertaining, engaging and perceptive view of the destination "Socialworkland"...It will prove useful as a learning tool for students, for tutors in universities preparing and assessing students for fitness to practise and supervisors in placements.' - British Journal of Social Work

'Social Work Placements is a much needed addition to the student social worker’s basic survival equipment. Here the varied bag of classroom teaching and venerable tomes of social work theory and method meet the reality of social work practice. I’m sure that this book will go on to be a minor classic in its field that helps students, practice educators and academics to orient to the needs and demands of practice learning.’ - Sandy Fraser, Open University, UK

'Mark Doel's innovative and visual 'Rough Guide'style leads novices (students) and seasoned explorers (practice teachers and supervisors) through the complex terrain of practice learning. This is a 'must have' placement guide using the author's collected wisdom and research to paint an accessible, clear and practice centred path to learning.' - Jonathan Parker, Bournemouth University, UK

'Overall, I found the book very insightful, giving a very real look into student placements and the journey that both student and agency supervisors are likely to face.' - Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415499125
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/12/2009
  • Series: Student Social Work Series
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.69 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Mark Doel is Research Professor of Social Work in the Centre for Health and Social Care Research at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. He is also the author and co-author of Experiencing Social Work: learning from service users, Using Groupwork, The Task-Centred Book, Practice Learning and Teaching, The Essential Groupworker and Modern Social Work Practice.

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Table of Contents

List of charts x

List of blogs x

List of tours xi

Symbols xii

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction xv

Map of Socialworkland xviii

Political geography xx

Part 1 Basics 01

Getting there 02

Red tape 03

Hours and holidays 04

Credit 04

Currency 05

Problems with travelling 05

Travellers with disabilities 06

Gay Socialworkland 06

Isolated travellers 07

Group tours 07

Specialist destinations 07

Trouble 08

Fellow travellers 09

Using the guide 11

Part 2 The Guide 13

Chapter 1 Documentation 15

Links and preliminaries 15

Criminal records 16

Handbooks 18

Occupational Standards (NOS) 19

Practice site information 23

Learning Agreement 24

Service Agreement 27

Practice portfolio 28

Portfolio tips 30

Other documentation 32

Placement diary 33

Feedback 33

Time sheets, payment schedules 34

Virtual learning environments 35

Click to download, etc 35

Chapter 2 Arriving 37

Links and preliminaries 37

Placement finding 38 41

'Visa' for practice learning 43

Student role 47

Orientation 48

Ground rules 50

Worked-based placements 51

Co-placements 51

Arriving with other students 51

Codes of practice 52

Click to download, etc 52

Chapter 3 Kit 54

Links and preliminaries 54

Journey styles 55

Personal qualities of students 58

Rehearsal and simulation 59

What if's 60

The virtual placement 60

Reported practice 60

Direct observation 63

Live teaching 64

Rules for live teaching 67

Live practice 71

Feedback 72

Reflection 73

Social networking 74

Click to download, etc 75

Chapter 4 Mapping 78

Links and preliminaries 78

Practice curriculum 80

Specialist practice 81

Personalising your map 83

Two vocabularies? 85

Pet theories 87

Travellers' stories 88

Evidence-based practice 90

Practice methods 93

Procedural practice 95

Professional compass 96

Competence and reflection 97

Click to download, etc 98

Chapter 5 Guiding 100

Links and preliminaries 100

What is supervision? 101

What makes good supervision? 102

Personal qualities of supervisors 103

Values 103

Abilities 104

Opportunities 105

Contexts 106

Approaches 108

What happens in supervision? 108

Supervisory boundaries 111

Group guiding 112

Hitch-hiking 115

Recording supervision 116

Supervisors working remotely 117

Click to download, etc 117

Chapter 6 Testing 119

Links and preliminaries 119

Mindset 120

Pre-test 121

Taking snapshots 123

Assessment 123

What is evidence? 125

Tips for collecting evidence 129

Testing competence 129

Competence and standard 129

Technical issues 131

Competence and circumstance 133

Competence and conduct 134

Testing values 136

Testing over time 137

Here and there 140

Writing up 141

On-and off-site supervisors 142

Practice panels 143

Click to download, etc 143

Chapter 7 The Going Gets Tough 147

Links and preliminaries 147

Indications 148

Early signs and other signs 148

What can go wrong? 150

Problems with practice 150

Problems with learning 152

Problems with conduct 155

Personal problems 156

Interpersonal problems 157

Structural and cultural problems 158

Defusing placement time bombs 158

Creaky gate-keeping 160

Oiling the placement gate 163

Protocols for breakdown 163

Keeping a log 164

Finding out what's wrong 165

Whistle-blowing 167

Possible outcomes 167

Aftermath 168

Boredom 169

Click to download, etc 169

Chapter 8 Off The Beaten Track 171

Links and preliminaries 171

But is it social work? 173

Examples off the beaten track 174

Added value of students 175

Preparation 177

Learning off the beaten track 178

Translating activities into learning 179

Using the standards 180

Sustaining placements 182

Infrastructure 182

Funding 183

Groups 184

Credibility over time 184

Multi-site placements 186

Interprofessional placements 187

Backpacking placements abroad 188

Click to download, etc 190

Chapter 9 New & Experienced 192

Links and preliminaries 192

From placement to placement 193

Information 194

Standards 195

Inexperienced students 197

Students experienced in practice 198

Sponsored students 199

Re-arrival 199

Halo and horn effects 200

New/experienced supervisors 202

Supervisor as learner 203


Click to download, etc 205

Chapter 10 Afterwards 206

Links and preliminaries 206

During 207

Feedback, audit, monitoring 208

Service user feedback 212

Supporting, sustaining placements 213

Do you speak social work? 215

Newly qualified social worker 216

Post-qualifying education 218

Discovering Planet Earth 219

Click to download, etc 219

Part 3 Contexts 223

A short history of placements 224

Language 226

Books 228

Index 233

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