Good Practice Guide For Social Work Training Launched

A unique guide aimed at improving the training of social work students in Northern Ireland has been launched by a University of Ulster academic. The Good Practice Guide on Citizen Involvement in Social Work Education in the Northern Ireland Context examines how service users and carers as citizens can be involved in the education of the students undertaking their degree course at the University.

A number of high profile speakers from the province and other regions of the UK, including Paul Martin, Chief Inspector for Social Services in Northern Ireland, addressed the issue at the launch of the guide at the Hilton Hotel in Templepatrick.

Joe Duffy, a lecturer in social work at the UU’s Magee and Jordanstown campuses, compiled the guide, the first of its kind in the province.

He said: “The BSc (Hons) in Social Work, which was introduced in September 2004, is delivered at the Magee campus of UU and four Further and Higher Education Colleges in Northern Ireland.

“It is now compulsory for students, as part of their training, to understand the service user and carer perspective. Uniquely in the UK, our students also have to demonstrate an understanding of how individuals and communities have been affected by the conflict which raged in Northern Ireland for almost 30 years.

“What I set out to do was write a Good Practice Guide to help everyone involved in the training process – including academics, students, agency partners and potential clients of the social work students – find a common approach which will deliver the best results”.

Funding for the project came from the Subject Centre for Social Policy and Social Work (SWAP), the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC), which is the awarding body for social workers in the province.