Where’s the Community Practice? Gaps in Community Practice Education in a Clinical-Community Social Work Program

Jessica L. Liddell, Katherine Lass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although the profession of social work has a rich history of supporting community organizing and engagement efforts, there has been a trend toward educational programs that focus heavily on the clinical components of social work. The purpose of this study was to perform an exploratory investigation of the potential need for more community-centered educational content at a school of social work in the Gulf Coast, which advertises itself as offering a clinical-community practice program. Researchers developed and administered a questionnaire to all current students of the School of Social Work to evaluate the program’s efforts to provide a balanced clinical-community practice education. Student responses to the questionnaire suggested that the community practice learning opportunities at the school were not represented equally in quality or quantity to the clinical material. Students reported limited access to field placements that focused on community practice. The researchers suggest that the results of this study are reflective of a potential national trend in social work education toward a narrower focus on clinical practice, and away from its roots in community organizing and advocacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-59
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Teaching in Social Work
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • MSW programs
  • community social work
  • macro practice
  • needs assessment
  • social work education

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