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Title: Lessons from the front line : post qualification training for social workers
Author: Vitali, Sharon Anne
ISNI:       0000 0000 5310 172X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2005
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Several recent high profile cases (including the tragic death of Victoria Climbie) have highlighted perceived failures of child protection services. Post qualification training programmes have been introduced to provide front line social workers with contemporary specialised knowledge and skills in this complex field. This project follows a cohort of 36 child protection social workers (and their line managers) over eighteen months while they undertook the Post Qualification Child Care Award for England and Wales. A mixed methods, repeated measures, programme evaluation explored both the effectiveness and the impact of the training. Ipsative (self-referencing) evaluation data was triangulated against line manager, academic tutor and practice assessor evaluations. An action research philosophy ensured that formative findings were provided concurrently to the programme providers to effect timely redesign and remediation. Statistically significant increases in candidates' levels of competency were demonstrated at the conclusion of the programme and at six months post-programme, suggesting both programme efficacy and effectiveness. An inexpensive user-friendly methodology for quantifying and measuring the acquisition of competency is presented. In general, respondents were enthusiastic about what they had learned and all respondents agreed that the programme improved standards for childcare work. Despite qualitative feedback expressing dissatisfaction with the delivery model, the candidates' levels of enthusiasm for the programme decreased only slightly over the course, whilst line managers' level of enthusiasm increased. Ninety percent of candidates reported stress associated with the combined pressures of work and the programme, yet their quantitative distress levels at the end of the program were actually lower than at the beginning. A number of adverse effects were identified. The conflict between the qualitative and quantitative findings is explored. The programme was further evaluated by means of a unique international comparison contrasting it to a parallel Canadian post-qualification educational programme. The result is a series of LESSONS FROM THE FRONT LINE, which have implications for the design and delivery of post-qualification training programmes for social workers, as well as other front line service delivery professionals.
Supervisor: Buchanan, Ann Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Child care--Study and teaching--Great Britain ; Social workers--Training of--Great Britain