Scott Grant
Dr Martin Kettle
Session E8
Social Services Expo March 18th 2014
Workshop on Professional Identity
Professional Identity
“There is an urgent need for social work to
clarify its professional identity” (Changing
Lives)
“Not...
Outline
• Introductions (5 minutes)
• Small group discussion (20 minutes)
• Feedback (10 minutes)
• Key findings from Doct...
Questions for discussion
• What are the key components of
professional identity for you?
• What are the factors that helpe...
A Balancing Act
• Prof D Doctoral
Research
• Grounded Theory
study of child
protection social work
Children
Power together
Relationship
Parents
Distance
Future
Inter-professional transactions
Power over
Investigation
Clos...
“A: I suppose that it is a bit like walking along a tight
rope, sometimes you are a bit wobbly, at other times
you are fee...
• Partnership between GCU + CELCIS – funded by SSSC.
• Aim: explore perspectives of NQSWs related to their
preparedness to...
What are we exploring?
• Levels of perceived confidence
• Levels of perceived resilience
• Levels of perceived competence
...
Study Design
• Mixed methods
Stage 1:
• Online questionnaire distributed to 572 NQSWs in Scotland
(17 ‘undeliverable’) – s...
University Experience
• 80% felt that university prepared NQSWs for ‘reality of
practice’
• 86% felt prepared for complex ...
Employment Experience
• Only 40% say that workload is protected.
• Most give 6-12 months as period of protection.
• Shadow...
Some comments from NQSW’s on formal supervision:
‘More focus on my learning and understanding as a NQSW, due to my
present...
Follow up
martin.kettle2@gcu.ac.uk
@MartinK55
scott.grant@gcu.ac.uk
@scottleegrant
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Professional identity for social workers - what is it and how can it be strengthened? E8

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Session that explores current research projects around professional identity and a project currently underway for the Scottish Social Services Council on newly qualified social workers. How do we develop and strengthen the identity of social workers in Scotland? This exploration, important in the light of health and social care integration, would benefit from the contributions of a wide range of participants as well as benefitting social work students, practitioners and managers. Contributed by: Glasgow Caledonian University

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Professional identity for social workers - what is it and how can it be strengthened? E8

  1. 1. Scott Grant Dr Martin Kettle Session E8 Social Services Expo March 18th 2014 Workshop on Professional Identity
  2. 2. Professional Identity “There is an urgent need for social work to clarify its professional identity” (Changing Lives) “Not easily put into a box” (Wiles, 2013) Are we talking about the identity of the profession or of the professional ?
  3. 3. Outline • Introductions (5 minutes) • Small group discussion (20 minutes) • Feedback (10 minutes) • Key findings from Doctoral research (Martin) (5 minutes) • Emergent findings from NQSW research (Scott) (5 minutes)
  4. 4. Questions for discussion • What are the key components of professional identity for you? • What are the factors that helped and hindered your development of professional identity?
  5. 5. A Balancing Act • Prof D Doctoral Research • Grounded Theory study of child protection social work
  6. 6. Children Power together Relationship Parents Distance Future Inter-professional transactions Power over Investigation Closeness Past Tipping point
  7. 7. “A: I suppose that it is a bit like walking along a tight rope, sometimes you are a bit wobbly, at other times you are feeling that little bit more secure ……..you are trying to do the best that you can do, and you really want to make sure that you are protecting children, and that you want to make sure that you are doing the right thing, and I think the hard part is where you are feeling that you are not able to do that. ………Yeah, it does feel that you are going to teeter off the edge” M: “I suppose that the only way to be a good tight rope walker is to…..” A: “Have really good balance” (Interview 8). In a nutshell......
  8. 8. • Partnership between GCU + CELCIS – funded by SSSC. • Aim: explore perspectives of NQSWs related to their preparedness to enter professional social work practice, and their experiences of post-qualifying support and learning. • Why? SSSC are currently reviewing the social work degree and forming new learning strategy for Scotland. • Last study of this kind in Scotland by Peter Marsh & John Triseliotis in 1996. NQSW Study in Scotland
  9. 9. What are we exploring? • Levels of perceived confidence • Levels of perceived resilience • Levels of perceived competence • Do NQSWs have the necessary skills to manage complex caseloads? • Are NQSWs adequately supported by agencies and first-line managers? • Are NQSWs getting enough opportunities to develop skills, knowledge and practice?
  10. 10. Study Design • Mixed methods Stage 1: • Online questionnaire distributed to 572 NQSWs in Scotland (17 ‘undeliverable’) – so 555 total (Feb – March, 2014). Stage 2: • Focus groups: Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth (March 2014).
  11. 11. University Experience • 80% felt that university prepared NQSWs for ‘reality of practice’ • 86% felt prepared for complex decision-making. • 80% felt that university prepared NQSW’s to be resilient practitioners. • 70% felt prepared to do assessments and write reports. • 87% felt prepared to deliver ‘outcome-based’ services. • 68% felt that university prepared them to understand the ‘integration agenda’. • 82% felt prepared as ‘research-minded’ practitioners. • 94.2% felt prepared for dealing with ethical / value dilemmas.
  12. 12. Employment Experience • Only 40% say that workload is protected. • Most give 6-12 months as period of protection. • Shadowing and learning from other social workers emerges more strongly than support from managers. • Experiences of training and development are mixed – no consistency. • Majority of NQSW’s feel confident or very confident across all National Occupational Standards for Social Work. • 66% felt induction was either satisfactory (33.6%), not very good (20.1%) or poor (11.9%). • Half would rate formal supervision between satisfactory and poor. • Majority (55%) have satisfactory, not very good or poor opportunities to reflect on practice during formal supervision (most say discussions are on caseload management and allocation).
  13. 13. Some comments from NQSW’s on formal supervision: ‘More focus on my learning and understanding as a NQSW, due to my presentation as a capable and competent worker, there can be an assumption that I have the relevant experience/skills/knowledge.’ ‘An opportunity for reflection would be beneficial but it is not a safe environment to do so. There is a fear of being belittled if I express my views and I do not feel that my discussions are confidential. There are also too many interruptions from the telephone and senior responding to emails and eating.’ ‘I would like for supervision to be less focused on 'ticking boxes' and more about giving me the time to reflect on the work I have and am doing.’ ‘for it to happen’
  14. 14. Follow up martin.kettle2@gcu.ac.uk @MartinK55 scott.grant@gcu.ac.uk @scottleegrant

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