'n Verkennende studie van maatskaplikewerk-praktykopleiding vanuit die persepsies van praktykopleiers
Von Wielligh, Nadia
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The three primary social problems in South Africa are seen as poverty, unequality and unemployment (Pennington 2013). Legislation and policy documents single out vulnerable groups and certain social issues as areas of priority (National Development Plan, 2011; White Paper on Social Welfare, 1997). In order to address these challanges a development-oriented paradigm within social work has been accepted (Lombard, 2008:162). The challenge for social workers is to become skilled in finding sustainable solutions within this context. Social service delivery within the South African context faces a variety of practical challenges, such as a shortage of social workers and high case loads. Although it is expected of social workers to execute their duties within a specific statutory framework, the effective implementation of legislation is threatened by the critical shortage of social workers. In order to ensure that social workers are equipped to meet the demands of practice, a new curriculum for the training of South African social workers has been developed. This Bachelor of Social Work qualification has been specifically designed to allow social workers to understand the political and socio-economical context of social welfare and to work within a developmental paradigm. The importance of field education as an integral part of social work training through the integration of theory and practice can not be ignored (Gursansky & Le Sueur, 2012; Kadushin, 1992). Field education is perceived to be an essential component of the training of social workers. Therefore, the research objective of this study was to undertake a qualitative exploratory and descriptive study of the perceptions of practice trainers in terms of the current state of social work practice training. The participants were selected by means of purposive, non-probability sampling. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews and these interviews were transcribed for the purpose of data analysis. Through the data three themes, with sub-themes, were identified, discussed and compared with literature on the subject. Conclusions and recommendations were made based on these themes. The results of this study are expected to contribute to further debate, research and the possible development of policy in order to enhance the preparation of social work students in South Africa for the challenges of social work in practice.
- Humanities