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Evaluation of the new social work qualification in England

Purpose

The Department of Health commissioned an evaluation of the new social work degree, conducted by SCWRU in collaboration with Sharpe Research and the Glasgow School of Social Work. 

Research team

Jo Moriarty, Jill Manthorpe, Shereen Hussein, Martin Stevens, SCWRU
Endellion Sharpe, Sharpe Research
Pam Green Lister, Joan Orme, Gillian McIntyre, University of Glasgow
Kate Cavanagh, University of Stirling
Beth Crisp, Deakin University, Australia

Funding

Department of Health

Background

The new social work degree qualification started in England in September 2003. This three-year evaluation researched the impact of the implementation of the degree, including its effects on student recruitment, the development of undergraduate and postgraduate funding programmes, and student motivations and experiences. Data collection took place between 2004-2007 and the final report was completed in June 2008.

Methods

This multi-method study involved three main sources of data. The first involved secondary analysis of all students enrolling on degree and diploma courses from 2003-2006 using data provided by the General Social Care Council. These data were analysed in depth by the SCWRU project team.

The second element consisted of information gathered from self-completion online questionnaires administered to successive student intakes in seven phases from 2004-05. The questionnaires covered areas such as their motivations for studying social work and their actual experiences on the programme. SCWRU undertook further analysis of this dataset.

The final element of the data collection involved a series of six detailed case studies, two of which were undertaken by the Unit. SCWRU led the drafting of the final report which received considerable attention in the professional press.

The evaluation provides important baseline information about the early years since the social work degree has been operational, particularly in light of the subsequent establishment of the Social Work Taskforce, which sought to improve the profession's quality and status and boost recruitment and retention.

Timetable

January 2004 – May 2008

Output

Reports

Evaluation of Social Work Degree in England Team (2008) Volume 1: Findings London: King's College London, Social Care Workforce Research Unit.

Evaluation of Social Work Degree Qualification in England Team (2008) Volume 2: Technical Appendix, London: King's College London, Social Care Workforce Research Unit.

These are both available from the Department of Health website.

The team produced six-monthly progress reports and an interim report to the Department of Health.

Articles

Stevens, M., Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J., Hussein, S., Sharpe, E., Orme, J., MacIntyre, G., Cavanagh, K., Green Lister, P. & Crisp, B.R. (2012) 'Helping others or a rewarding career? Investigating student motivations to train as social workers in England', Journal of Social Work, 12(1): 16-36.

MacIntyre, G., Green Lister, P., Orme, J., Crisp, B.R., Manthorpe, J., Hussein, S., Moriarty, J., Stevens, M. & Sharpe, E., (2011), 'Using vignettes to evaluate the outcomes of student learning: data from the evaluation of the new social work degree in England', Social Work Education, 30(2): 207-222.

Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J., Stevens, M. & Hussein, S. (2011) 'Making the transition: comparing research on newly qualified social workers with other professions', British Journal of Social Work, 41(7): 1340-1356. 

Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J., Stevens, M., Hussein, S., Sharpe, E., Orme, J., MacIntyre, G., Green Lister, P. & Crisp, B.R., (2010), 'A depth of data: research messages on the state of social work education in England', Research, Policy and Planning, 28(1): 29-42.

Manthorpe, J., Moriarty, J., Hussein, S., Stevens, M., Sharpe, E., Orme, J., MacIntyre, G., Green Lister, P. & Crisp, B., (2010), 'Applications to social work programmes in England: students as consumers?', Social Work Education, 29(6): 584-598.

Manthorpe, J., Moriarty, J., Hussein, S., Sharpe, E., Stevens, M., Orme, J., MacIntyre, G., Green Lister, P. & Crisp, B.R., (2010), 'Changes in admissions work arising from the new social work degree in England', Social Work Education, 29(7): 704-717.

Moriarty, J., MacIntyre, G., Manthorpe, J., Crisp, B.R., Orme, J., Green Lister, P., Cavanagh, K., Stevens, M., Hussein, S. & Sharpe, E., (2010), ' "My expectations remain the same. The student has to be competent to practise": practice assessor perspectives on the new social work degree qualification in England', British Journal of Social Work, 40(2): 583-601.

Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J., Stevens, M., Hussein, S., MacIntyre, G., Orme, J., Green Lister, P., Sharpe, E. & Crisp, B., (2010), 'A degree of success? Messages from the new social work degree in England for nurse education', Nurse Education Today, 30(5): 443-447.

Orme, J., MacIntyre, G., Green Lister, P., Cavanagh, K., Crisp, B.R., Hussein, S., Manthorpe, J., Moriarty, J., Sharpe, E. & Stevens, M., (2009), 'What (a) difference a degree makes: the evaluation of the new social work degree in England', British Journal of Social Work, 39(1): 161-178. 

Related output

Blewett, J. (2008) Review of post qualifying social work programmes endorsement processes, Leeds: Skills for Care.

Stevens, M., (2008), 'Workload management in social work services: what, why and how?', Practice: Social Work in Action, 20(4): 207-221.

Moriarty, J. & Murray, J., (2007), 'Who wants to be a social worker? Using routine published data to identify trends in the numbers of people applying for and completing social work programmes in England', British Journal of Social Work, 37(4): 715-733.

Manthorpe, J., Hussein, S. and Moriarty, J., (2005), 'The evolution of social work education in England: A critical review of its connections and commonalities with nurse education', Nurse Education Today, 25(5): 369-376.

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