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KEF Introduction


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KEF Introduction

  1. 1. A Qualitative Investigation of the Professional Adaptation Processes of Internationally Educated Social Workers in Canada Annie Pullen-Sansfaçon, Marion Brown, Stephanie Ethier, Alice Gérard Tétrault, Amy Fulton, Audrey-Anne Dumais Michaud, Kate Matheson, John Graham Knowledge Exchange Forum, November 2014
  2. 2. The Bigger Picture: Transnational Mobility • An increasingly important phenomenon worldwide – social workers are part of this trend • Recent research examines challenges and benefits of employing, and/or training needed for migrant social workers for practice in the new context (see reference list) • Yet, little is known from the migrant social worker perspective how they experience professional adaptation – challenges and barriers faced in securing employment – having foreign credentials recognized – how knowledge and experience transfer to the new context
  3. 3. The Canadian Context • Population = 35 million people • Federal government has an annual target of attracting 240,000 to 265,000 new immigrants • Internationally educated social workers are on the government’s ‘occupational list’ and the profession is presented as offering ‘good job prospect’ • Internationally educated social workers must – have their foreign credentials assessed by a regulatory body – then apply to their provincial social work regulator for a license to practice • Development of pan-Canadian credential recognition standards is currently underway (Fang, 2012)
  4. 4. Adaptation of Migrant Social Workers: Existing Ideas • Critical predictor: transferability of standards from one country to another (Remennick 2003) • IASSW and IFSW: Global Standards document Key tension: – Does social work have internationally comparable knowledge, values and standards? – Is social work a culturally specific and locally driven profession? Can the practice of Social Work easily transfer from one country to another?
  5. 5. Our Study: Research Questions • How do social work experience & education in one country affect perspectives & experiences of social work practice in Canada? • What are social workers’ experiences of professional adaptation in their new social work practice contexts? (adaptations at work, changes in perceptions of roles/tasks, evolution of professional identity as social workers, interactions within work contexts with social work clients, colleagues & organisations, and impact on the practice of social work) • What are the challenges and benefits perceived by service users, employers and policy makers regarding the integration of migrant social workers?
  6. 6. Methodology: Grounded Theory • Grounded theory: – when little is known or theorized already about a phenomena – no existing theories or theoretical constructs are imposed on the data – work with the data inductively, from the ‘ground’ up – to “build theoretical understanding of complex social processes” – to develop “middle-range theories…’grounded’ in participants’ experiences” (Whiteside et al., 2012: 504-505)
  7. 7. Participant Inclusion Criteria • Settled in one of the three sites of study between 2002 to present • Have completed a social work degree outside Canada • In the process of or completed: – Having social work credentials recognized – Being licensed to practice in the province
  8. 8. Recruitment • Targeted emails and letters distributed through the provincial social work regulators in Nova Scotia, Alberta and Quebec • Interested participants followed up • Brief screening to ensure each participant met the inclusion criteria • Snowball sampling
  9. 9. Data Collection • Individual, in-depth interviews, recorded & transcribed verbatim • Data collected in 3 phases over 4 years Participant Target Halifax Montreal Calgary Wave 1: 5 per site 5 5 5 Wave 2: 12 per site 7 12 12 Wave 3: 8 per site 6 8 5
  10. 10. Data Collection 3 sites Calgary and nearby Montreal All the Maritime provinces
  11. 11. Characteristics of Participants • A heterogeneous group • From diverse geographic regions representing 21 countries • Varied experiences of migration • Many dynamics shape the migration experience: gender, race, language, cultural background • Reasons for migration: – personal motivations (curiosity, desire to leave their country) – relational motivations (partner & family moves) – professional motivation (acquisition of new knowledge)
  12. 12. 10 8 12 5 Country of Origin of the participants France (12), USA (10), UK (8), India (5), Romania (5), Ukraine (5),Lebanon (4), Germany (2), Colombie (2), Spain (1), Venezuela (1), Israel (1), Netherland (1), Australia (1), Czech Republic (1), Finland (1), South Africa (1), Brazil (1), New-Zealand (1), Philipines (1), Pakistan (1), Liberia (1).
  13. 13. Working across Two Languages • Participant choice: interviews in either English or French • Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim • French interviews: – transcribed in French and coded in English – English = common language among members of the research team • French transcripts used for the purposes of presenting or disseminating the data are translated into English on an as-required basis
  14. 14. Data Analysis • Team coding process – Coding within and across sites – A detailed, lengthy & intense commitment – Refinement of codes & categories through dialogue & debate • Final coded documents were analysed and abstracted to develop emerging theory and other findings presented today • Data stored and managed in Nvivo software
  15. 15. References Bartley, A., Beddoe, L., Fouche, C. & Harington, P. (2012). Transnational social workers: Making the profession a transnational professional space. International Journal of Population Research, vol. 2012, 1-11. Beddoe, L. & Fouche, C. (2014). ‘Kiwis on the Move’: New Zealand social worker’s experience of practising abroad. British Journal of Social Work, 44(supp. 1), i193-i208. Beecher B., Eggertsen, L., Reeves, B.J., & Furuto, S. (2010). International student views about transferability in social work education and practice. International Social Work, 53(2), 203–216. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (2013). Foreign Credentials Referral Office. Retrieved from: Accessed: 19 April 2014. Fang, C (2012). Foreign Credential Assessment and Social Work in Canada. Retrieved from: Report2012-Final.pdf Accessed: 10 January 2014. Fouche, C., Beddoe, L., Bartley, A. & Brenton, N. (2013). Strengths and Struggles: Overseas qualified social workers’ experiences in Aotearoa New Zealand. Australian Social Work, 66(1) 1-16. Fouche, C., Beddoe, L., Bartley, A. & de Haan, I. (2014). Enduring professional dislocation: Migrant social workers’ perceptions of their professional roles. British Journal of Social Work, 44, 2004-2022. Gray M. (2005). Dilemmas of international social work: Paradoxical processes in indigenisation, imperialism and universalism. International Journal of Social Welfare, 14, 230-23. Hussein, S., Manthorpe J., & Stevens, M. (2010). People in places; A qualitative exploration of recruitment agencies' perspectives on the employment of international social workers in the UK. British Journal of Social Work, 40, 1000-1016.
  16. 16. References continued Pullen- Sansfaçon, A., Brown, M. & Graham, J. (2012). International migration of professional social workers: Toward a theoretical framework for understanding professional adaptation processes. Social -Development Issues, 34(2), 37-50. Pullen-Sansfaçon, A., Spolander, G. & Engelbrecht, L. (2012). Migration of professional social workers: Reflections on challenges and strategies for education. Social Work Education, 31(8), 1032-1045. Remennick, L. (2003). Career continuity among immigrant professionals: Russian engineers in Israel. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 29(4), 701-721. Service Canada, Government of Canada (2013). Social Workers: Unit group 4152. Retrieved from: Accessed: 26 October, 2014. Van Ngo, H. & Este, D. (2006). Professional re-entry for foreign-trained immigrants. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 7(1), 27-50. Whiteside, M., Mills, J. & McCalman, J. (2012). Using secondary data for grounded theory analysis, Australian Social Work, 65(4), 504-516.