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Title: Personal development in the higher education and training of social care workers in Ireland
Author: Cremen, Patricia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7651 4964
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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The education and training of social care workers (SCWs) takes place, predominantly, in the Institute of Technology (IOT) sector in Ireland. Both the state agency Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and Ireland's multi-professional health regulator CORU stipulate a requirement for Personal Development (PD) in the higher education and training of SCWs. However, there is little evidence as to if, or how, this is delivered in the social care (SC) educational programmes in the IOT sector in Ireland. Those who claim its benefits point to the need for SCWs to acquire the capacity to become more self-aware, build healthy self-esteem and challenge sedimented prejudices before entering the profession. The challenging nature of the work, the extremely high rate of stress and burnout in the sector and the imminent professional statutory registration of SCWs is also noted. Little research has been undertaken in this area; hence this study seeks to explore the phenomenon of PD in the higher education and training of SCWs from the perspective of 14 SC educators in the 13 IOTS in Ireland. Underpinned by a social constructivist methodology and using a qualitative multiple case study approach, semi-structured interviews are employed to collect the data. The findings reveal that PD is embedded, but not explicit, in a variety of modules and module titles in the 13 IOTs investigated with only one stand-alone module, specifically designed for the facilitation of PD. The delivery of PD is open to interpretation and depends on the IOT in question, the (SC) programme(s), the module(s) and the influence of the theoretical orientation, background, and training of the SC educator. The findings reveal that students benefit from engaging in PD, especially in dealing with unresolved personal issues that may impede their work with clients. PD is considered necessary in training for professional best practice in social care, but concerns are raised that SC educators are not trained to undertake therapeutic work and find themselves walking a 'thin line' between PD and therapeutic practice.
Supervisor: Papatsiba, Vassiliki Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available