Social workers come into contact with lesbian, gay and bisexual andtrans people in all areas of their practice and across all service usergroups. In line with professional requirements, social work educatorsmust ensure that students who complete qualifying programmessuccessfully meet the standards expected of them as registered socialworkers, including those around diversity. This study aims to explorethe extent to which qualifying social work students feel prepared topractise competently with people from sexual and gender minoritycommunities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with finalyearsocial work students at one university in southern England and theresults were analysed using thematic analysis. Whilst these studentsreport feeling generally prepared to practise with sexual minoritycommunities, they report feeling unprepared to practise competentlywith gender minority communities. Themes that emerged in relationto students' perceived lack of preparedness included unfamiliarity,limited knowledge, fear and an absence of opportunities to considerrelevant issues during their social work training. Whilst this researchrelates to a small-scale study at one university, these findings mayhave broader implications for social work educators in terms of courseplanning and delivery, particularly around ensuring that students feelready for practise with all service users.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Social Work Education on 26/09/2016 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02615479.2016.1237628
- Social Work Education