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Hafford-Letchfield, Trish; Thomas, Bernadette; McDonald, Lynn (2016)
Publisher: Sage US
Languages: English
Types: Article
Summary: This paper describes the findings from the evaluation of a UK initiative which engaged social work students as community partners within an educational based family intervention programme. Fourteen social work students in the first year of a BA (Hons) were placed in the programme to meet the volunteering requirements of their 'Community Project'. By engaging with the community-based family programme at an early stage in their education, students experienced the benefits of interventions, focussing on sustainability, citizenship and parent participation. We describe the approach and discuss the evaluation outcomes to illustrate the potential of utilising co-learning with families in social work education. In taking up the role of community partners, students observed first-hand the value of incorporating horizontal relationships into their learning and experienced direct knowledge exchange with service users at an early stage in their training. \ud \ud Findings: The findings suggest that this experience enabled students to connect with conceptualisations of macro alongside micro practice in their professional development as social workers. Further, connecting critical social theories with the direct experience of families promoted the learners own empowerment and conscientization. \ud \ud Application: This provided a means of embedding social work values and aspirations towards social justice in their future practice orientation.
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