Quality social work placements for Māori social work students
Keywords:M?ori, Indigenous, social work, field education, quality placements, students
INTRODUCTION: Māori perspectives should be genuinely represented and integrated into social work education to ensure Māori and non-Māori social work students alike are prepared for working effectively in Aotearoa New Zealand. In field education, Māori students may have particular needs and expectations that should be considered by academic staff and placement host organisations. Consequently, the placement experience for Māori students should reflect these needs and expectations.
METHOD: As part of a wider research project which aimed to advance the quality of social work placements for Māori and Pasifika students, a hui was undertaken with a roopu (Māori branch) of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Work (ANZASW) in late 2014. This article focuses on their views of what constitutes a quality placement for Māori social work students. The project explored two key areas: what does a quality placement look like for Māori social work students and what can tertiary institutions do to better support Māori students to have a quality placement?
FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS: Participants emphasised the usefulness of placement preparedness, clear expectations and open communication prior to, and during, placement. The placement should also be culturally safe and adequately challenge the student. Tertiary providers should support the student’s placement by being in regular face-to-face contact; preparing the student for the placement environment; supporting external cultural supervision; and by critically reviewing their curriculum.
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