Hic sunt dracones: Here be dragons! Difficulties in mapping the demand for social work placements in New Zealand

Kathryn Hay, Neil Ballantyne, Karin Brown


Anecdotal evidence suggests that the growth in demand for social work field placements in New Zealand is outstripping supply and impacting on placement quality. However, to date, no systematic study of placement demand or supply in New Zealand has been published. Our study sought to identify the number of students placed during 2012, their placement setting (government or non-government), whether they were supervised by a Registered Social Worker (RSW), and whether they had on-site supervision. It combined secondary analysis of the annual reports of recognised programmes to the Social Workers Registration Board with a survey of seven tertiary institutions. We found that students placed in government settings were three times more likely to experience on-site supervision by an RSW, but that the majority of placements were in non-government settings. The study also uncovered significant problems with the integrity of the annual report data collected and recommendations for improvements are outlined in this article.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1921/jpts.v13i1.808


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