Looking back- Looking forward: messages from experienced social workers for the recently qualified

  • June Thoburn University of East Anglia, Norwich
  • Chiari Berti , Department of Psychological, Health & Territorial Sciences, University of Chieti-Pescara, Via dei Vestini 29 - 66100
  • Cinzia Canali Fondazione Emanuela Zancan, Via del Seminario 5/A, 35122 Padova
  • Paulo Delgado InED - Centro de Investigação e Inovação em Educação, Escola Superior de Educação do Porto
  • Elisabetta Neve Fondazione Emanuela Zancan, Via del Seminario 5/A, 35122 Padova
  • Tiziano Vecchiato Fondazione Emanuela Zancan, Via del Seminario 5/A, 35122 Padova
Keywords: Child and family social workers, experienced, newly qualified, values, social work training

Abstract

This paper first briefly scopes what is known about social workers who make a long-term commitment to working within child and family services, and possible explanations why some choose to remain long-term within this service setting. It then reports on the response of 32 long-serving social workers from 9 countries to an open-questions survey about the messages they would want to pass on to beginning social workers. The thematic analysis seeks to tease out the motivations, rewards and strategies that are associated with those who, in different country contexts, remain committed to and find satisfaction in child and family work. Whilst identifying similar themes to those reported in earlier publications on why some social workers leave and others stay, it adds to the still comparatively limited literature reporting on career-long child and family social workers.

Author Biographies

June Thoburn, University of East Anglia, Norwich

June Thoburn, LittD, CBE is Emeritus Professor of Social Work at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England. She qualified as a social worker at University of Oxford in 1963 and worked in local authority children’s services in England and Canada before taking up a lectureship at UEA in 1979. Her teaching and research have covered all aspects of child and family social services. Specialisms include international comparations; foster care, adoption and collaborative practice in family support. She was vice-chair of the England General Social Care Council, and is a member of BASW child and family policy group.

Chiari Berti, , Department of Psychological, Health & Territorial Sciences, University of Chieti-Pescara, Via dei Vestini 29 - 66100

Chiara Berti, M.D., is Associated Professor of Social Psychology of the University of Chieti-Pescara (Italy). She is elected member of the Italian University Council (C.U.N.). After Graduate Studies of Medicine and Surgery at University of Bologna, Italy, she followed Postgraduate Studies of Clinical Psychology at University of Bologna and Postgraduate Studies of Psychiatry at University of Ancona, Italy. Her most recent research fields include, among others, social representation, social psychology of justice, juridical psychology and community psychology.

Cinzia Canali, Fondazione Emanuela Zancan, Via del Seminario 5/A, 35122 Padova

Cinzia Canali, has a degree in Statistics from the University of Padova. She is currently the Director of the Fondazione Emanuela Zancan. She coordinates the multisite project PersonaLab that aims to promote need-related individualised care and the research group Impact evaluation of projects related to educational poverty. She is a member of the Fondazione Zancan’s  “generative welfare”  research team, a component of the scientific committee of the longitudinal study Crescere. She is President of the International Association for Outcome-based Evaluation and Research on Family and Children’s Services iaOBERfcs.

Paulo Delgado, InED - Centro de Investigação e Inovação em Educação, Escola Superior de Educação do Porto

João Paulo Ferreira Delgado is a Professor of Education at the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Portugal.  He has a Degree in Law and Master’s Degree in Education Sciences (Portucalense University, Porto); PHd in Education Sciences (Santiago de Compostela University, Spain); Agregação in Education (Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal. President of ESE Pedagogical Council since April 2017. Member of the Scientific Board of Center for Research and Innovation in Education, Polytechnic Institute of Porto. His teaching and research specialist areas are social pedagogy, children's rights, foster care, subjective well-being.

Elisabetta Neve, Fondazione Emanuela Zancan, Via del Seminario 5/A, 35122 Padova

Elisabetta Neve has a degree in Social Work and enrolled in the Social Workers Register since 1995. She has been teaching subjects related to social work since 1970 at the universities of Venice, Padua and Verona. She currently teaches  Evaluation of Social Work courses on the University of Verona Master Degree in Social Work. For many years she has been involved in research, ongoing training, professional supervision, both in collaboration with the Fondazione Zancan, and Italian universities, ministries, national and local authorities. She has published books and articles in national and international journals.

Tiziano Vecchiato, Fondazione Emanuela Zancan, Via del Seminario 5/A, 35122 Padova

Tiziano Vecchiato has a degree in Sociology. He is Chait of  the Fondazione Zancan, a research centre based in Padova focusing on welfare systems and service evaluation, where he coordinates the generative welfare projects. He has collaborated for many years with the Italian Ministry of Health and is Board member of Eusarf. In 2003 with Professor Anhony Maluccio he founded the International Association for Outcome-based Evaluation and Research on Family and Children's Services. He is author of more than 500 publications and directs the series "Welfare Systems" and reports on poverty in Italy over the last 20 years.

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Published
2021-07-29