Substance use training experiences and needs: findings from a national survey of social care professionals in England
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AbstractFor more than 30 years there have been calls in the UK to improve training for social workers in relation to substance use. Yet very little research has explored what training practitioners have received or what their training needs are. This study sought to establish practitioners' experiences of previous training in substance use and identify their current training needs. An online survey was disseminated to 3,164 practitioners in adults' (AS) and children's (CS) social care and 12 vignette-based focus groups were also held. Of the final sample of 597, more than a third of social workers had not received any training and a further fifth only received between one and four hours. Other social care staff fared worse. Overwhelmingly, respondents said that substance use knowledge and skills were very important to their practice but their professional education had not prepared them well. They identified a number of training needs including ‘how to talk to people about substance use’ and ‘the types of intervention and treatment available’. Most social care professionals report not being adequately prepared for working with substance use, particularly basic knowledge and skills which would help them to conduct assessments and signpost people to specialist substance services.
CitationGalvani, S., Dance, C., & Hutchinson, A. (2012) 'Substance use training experiences and needs: findings from a national survey of social care professionals in England' Social Work Education, (ahead-of-print), 1-18.
PublisherTaylor and Francis