Can we ‘teach’ interpersonal effectiveness? What can social care and social work placements teach us?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Education in social care and social work contributes significantly to effective social work practise since it provides a foundation for future practise and research. Often these placements are seen as a way in which these students can apply theoretical insights to practice situations. Placements also have another important function, however, and this is namely that of engaging the students who undertake them to acquire both greater intrapersonal reflexivity and interpersonal acumen. This presentation explores how students develop these dispositions and skills via: (i) the way in which their courses are run, (ii) the inputs of lecturers, (iii) ongoing discussion with peers, (iv) the curriculum, (v) the keeping of reflective diaries, and (vi) their own (‘internal’) messages of how a social worker ‘should’ operate. This data will be presented using a theory of change which delineates the activities they participate in, the tasks they undertake to strengthen the effectiveness of their practice, the interactional influence they have on individuals, families and communities, and the interactional impact on the wider community, with the aim of showing how the placement is an indispensable part of their overall training.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2016
EventThe International Academic Forum - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Jun 20163 Jul 2016


ConferenceThe International Academic Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • education
  • placements
  • participant engagement
  • reflexivity

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