OverviewThe module ensures that each student is ‘ready for direct practice’ before they embark on their first placement in the second stage of their studies as required by the accrediting professional body. Students are required to complete all elements of this module, including attendance at University-based sessions, in order to pass the module.
The skills development activities will include both class-based and guided independent activities undertaken by students.
Class-based activities will encourage the development of skills used in communication, observation and reflection, and relating theory and practice. This will enable students to practise and further develop the skills and knowledge they are learning in other modules that form part of the ‘Readiness for Direct Practice’ assessment, in particular SO307 Communication and Interpersonal Skills and SO313 Social Work Theories, Interventions and Skills.
Learning activities within modules and skills development days will also address the importance of professional behaviour and boundaries, awareness of values and diversity in social work, an initial awareness of risk and safeguarding, the role of professional supervision, and the importance of emotional resilience in social work.
Students will also develop their awareness of the perspectives of service users and carers, and will gain understanding of the context of social work and how social work is organised and practised in a range of settings. Students will have contact with practitioners and service users and carers within class sessions and through visiting social care settings. Each student will also undertake a two-day shadowing placement with a final year student and practice educator in a social work setting. During this they will observe and discuss examples of social work practice and meet service users and/or carers.
Students will develop their self-awareness and skills of reflection on their learning and experiences through individual activities and class discussions. They will be guided to identify their individual learning needs and monitor and reflect on their own progress.
Method of assessment
100% coursework portfolio assessed on a pass/fail basis comprising:
A report from the practice educator from student's shadowing opportunity with feedback regarding their professional behavior, interaction with service users and colleagues, and awareness of social work values .
A 1000 word reflective account based on their learning from the shadowing experience.
Both the report of professional behavior and the reflective account will be incorporated into a portfolio alongside the attendance requirement and other documentation produced during the module from formative tasks. These include an Attendance Record incorporating a learning journal, a Personal and Professional Development Plan (PPDR), Community Mapping presentation and feedback sheet and feedback and self-reflection on role-play activity. This portfolio will be assessed by a panel comprising service users and carers, practitioners and academic staff. Students will be required to pass all elements of the portfolio to successfully complete the module and in order to have the opportunity to progress onto a practice placement.
Koprowska, J (2010) Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work. 3rd Edn, Exeter: Learning Matters
Lomax, R., Jones, K., Leigh, S. & Gay, C. (2010) Surviving Your Social Work Placement. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Miller, L (2012) Counselling Skills for Social Work. 2nd Edn. London: Sage
Parker, J. (2010) Effective Practice Learning in Social Work. 2nd Edn. Exeter: Learning Matters
Rolfe, G, Jasper, M. & Freshwater, D, (2010) Critical reflection in practice: generating knowledge for care. 2nd Edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Trevithick, P. (2012) Social Work Skills and Knowledge: a Practice Handbook. Maidenhead: Open University Press
Wilson, K., Ruch, G., Lymbery, M. & Cooper, A. (2011) Social Work: An introduction to contemporary practice. 2nd Edn. Harlow: Pearson.
By successfully completing the module students will demonstrate their readiness for direct practice with service users in accordance with the requirements of the Social Work Reform Board. To achieve this they will:
11.1 Demonstrate understanding of and commitment to professional behaviour and personal and professional boundaries
11.2 Demonstrate awareness of social work values and the application of anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory principles in social work practice
11.3 Recognise and reflect on their own personal values and how these can impact on practice
11.4 Demonstrate core communication skills and the capacity to develop and apply them in practice with service users, carers and colleagues.
11.5 Demonstrate awareness of, and the ability to learn from, the perspectives of service users and carers
11.6 Demonstrate an awareness of the theoretical knowledge base for social work practice
11.7 Demonstrate skills in reflective practice