PVI Student Placements Gold or Dross? Jo Tulloch, June 2011
The Context • Need to improve SW education / training • Increasing use of PVI placements – “vast range” • No research found on fit between SW training and PVI sector placements
The Issues • PVI agencies may have different: • aims • professional approaches to their work • understanding of the social work role & • motivation for taking students than statutory social work agencies. Does this matter?
First, the problems • Motivation = labour & funds to meet capacity deficit • Limited awareness of SW role & placement requirements • Different approach to supervision • Challenge to find student workload with sufficient SW content • Difficulty in managing struggling students
Then, the Value of PVI Placements • Innovative & creative ways of working • Supportive relationships with clients • Use theory-based counselling skills • Strong focus on valuing diversity • Group work & community analysis • Initiative & an open approach to problem-solving & risk • Flexible organisational structure & accountability • Commitment to individual clients & holistic practice
Research Pilot • Hypothesis: PVA placements have valuable pros for SW training & cons that need to be addressed • Aim: to confirm or disprove that these are widespread issues needing further research • Outcome: if hypothesis confirmed, pass on to academic team to follow through