Emotional Resilience and the Professional Capabilities Framework: Identifying what Emotional Resilience is, in the Context of Social Work Education, Training and Practice.
AuthorsGreen, Pauline Catherine
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractIn 2009, the Government introduced measures to improve social work training and practice in response to having analysed findings from Serious Case Reviews in the aftermath of a series of child deaths. One of the most significant of these improvements was the introduction of a new training framework, entitled the ‘Professional Capabilities Framework’ (The College of Social Work, 2012d). Emotional resilience was, for the first time, identified as a required capability within the ‘Professionalism’ domain of the framework. The aim of this research was to identify what emotional resilience was in the context of social work practice in order to meet the requirements of the Professional Capabilities Framework, thus addressing the Government’s new directives for improved social work education and training. A research study was undertaken to collect data relating to emotional resilience within a social work context involving ten focus groups of between 3-5 participants. The participants were chosen because of their experience in relation to emotional resilience and social work, either through being employed, studying or working in partnership with the University of Derby. The groups comprised, social work team managers, newly qualified and experienced Social Workers, practice educators, lecturers, social work students from all three years of the Social Work Degree Programme and service users and carers. All of the focus group discussions were audio-taped, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. The study produced a definition of emotional resilience specifically for Social Workers which identified core traits of optimism, self-awareness, empathy and stability as well as the ability to remain calm and demonstrate appropriate empathy. The necessity for Social Workers to be emotionally resilient was confirmed, and causal factors in the development of emotional resilience such as adversity in life, reflective supervision and a supportive working environment, were highlighted. Valuable information was also obtained about how students might be educated and trained to become emotionally resilient professionals, in order to meet the requirements of the Professional Capabilities Framework. The findings indicated that challenging role plays, self-awareness activities, preparation for practice modules, the use of explicit case studies, reflective supervision and statutory placements, were all effective mediums for promoting emotional resilience. Keywords: emotional resilience, Professional Capabilities Framework, social work education and training, social work curriculum.
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