Becoming effective communicators with children: developing practitioner capability through social work education

Lefevre, Michelle (2015) Becoming effective communicators with children: developing practitioner capability through social work education. British Journal of Social Work, 45 (1). pp. 204-224. ISSN 0045-3102

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Social workers employed within statutory settings in countries such as the UK are subject to legal and policy requirements to communicate directly and effectively with children and young people. Qualifying social work education is expected to prepare students so that they can practice competently. However, in England at least, practice and education are both falling short. While active attention is now being given to ways of facilitating improvements in practice, almost nothing is known about how qualifying courses might best promote student learning. This paper reports some of the findings from a UK-based empirical study into factors and processes which support students in developing the self-efficacy and ‘applied understanding’ they need to undertake effective direct work with children. A superficial focus on the ‘doing’ of communication (techniques and skills) appears to be inadequate: courses must additionally provide a range of experiential, participatory, didactic and critically reflective learning opportunities which can enable deep learning of the underpinning knowledges, ethical commitments and personal qualities also needed. A model is presented of an integrated and coherent learning sequence which could be used by programmes to ensure students develop the necessary generic, child-centred and ‘applied child-specialist’ capabilities in communication with children.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Children, communication, direct work, skills, social work education, use of self
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Depositing User: Michelle Lefevre
Date Deposited: 09 May 2013 12:39
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2017 23:56

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