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Readiness for Practice in Social Work Through a Constructionist Lens

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Abstract

This conceptual article applies social constructionist thinking to an analysis of the term readiness for social work practice and its uses. “Readiness,” “ready,” and “not ready” are frequently used colloquially in casual conversations and formally in evaluating student/practitioner aptitude for professional practice; multiple understandings of readiness and how it develops are apparent. Multiple understandings of readiness seem to feed practice assessment and for this reason the apparent multiplicity in sense-making about what it means to be ready (or not) becomes potentially problematic. Social work educators are encouraged to be vigilant to how practice interactions are socially constructed and how this informs conclusions about readiness.

Keywords: social constructionism; readiness; field instruction; practice assessment
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Recruiting, Maintaining, and Sustaining Integrated Behavioral Health Sites for Field Education

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Abstract

Models of integrated behavioral health care are expanding nationwide wherein physical and behavioral health are met concurrently. Social workers, with their clinical and communication skills and strengths-based person-in-environment approach, are well-suited for these settings. In response, social work field placement settings need to keep pace with health care system demands. This paper discusses key components to successfully recruit and sustain integrated behavioral health field placement sites. Challenges encountered as well as helpful strategies to overcome barriers will be addressed to help ensure quality learning experiences for social work students, optimum support for field instructors, and sustained community partnerships.

Keywords: integrated primary care, integrated care, field education, social work field placement
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Exploring the Self-Care Practice of Practicum Supervisors: Implications for Field Education

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Abstract

Despite the increasing attention to self-care within the broader social work profession, research on the topic is nominal, particularly within the context of social work education. This cross-sectional, exploratory study surveyed social work field practicum supervisors (N=127) in one Southeastern state regarding their personal and professional self-care practices. Results indicate a significant relationship between two key variables and personal and professional self-care scores, respectively. Specifically, social work field practicum supervisors from for profit entities reported higher self-care practices than those employed at non-profit entities. As well, those with a social work license indicated higher self-care. Both of these variables (e.g., employer type and licensing status) significantly explained self-care. After a review of relevant literature, this paper reports findings, presents pertinent discussion points, and explicates apposite areas for future research.

Keywords: self-care; field practicum supervisors; social work education
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Innovations in Field Education to Improve Integrated Care for Young People and their Families

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Abstract

Health care services are rapidly changing, shifting away from traditional models toward integrated approaches relying on team-based care. To meet evolving workforce needs, social workers must be prepared for interprofessional team practice in integrated health settings. Much of students’ practical training occurs in field placements. Agencies may not be prepared for integrated and interprofessional practice, presenting a challenge for students in preparing for work in integrated health settings. This article describes how implementation of a student-training model informed the need to more purposefully include the field in training. Specific innovations in field education to improve student and agency preparation to provide integrated care for youth and families are discussed.

Keywords: social work education; field education; interprofessional education (IPE); integrated health; behavioral health
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