How do we professionalise social work without losing our soul? A reflection on the role and purpose of practice placements within social work education

Caroline Bald, Aisha Howells


A recurring question of social work is its purpose. To change culture or to help the individual.  One drawing on systemic radical social work skills, the other relationship-based social justice skills. Placements are an important part for practicing, developing and consolidating academic learning. It is social work in practice, and the place to hone employability skills. This reflection explores the benefits and challenges of the change considering whether this is towards professionalisation or marketisation.

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