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Reflections on LGBT Students in Social Work Field Education

Published April 2013

by Lori Messinger, PhD
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
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Abstract: Over the last twenty years, social work literature on practice with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations has grown, and research has begun to emerge about challenges faced by LGBT social work students and practitioners in the field. Using the author’s reflection on her own field experiences as a lesbian social work student almost twenty years ago, this article reviews the ways in which social work education and practice have changed to support these students’ unique concerns, and it details the places where educators and field instructors fail to meet LGBT students’ needs. The author also provides suggestions about ways that the profession can move forward to maximize students’ learning experiences.

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