'Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others' : social work educators' perspectives on an 'emotional curriculum'
AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
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AbstractIt is widely recognised that social workers need to be emotionally resilient to protect their well-being and practice in an increasingly stressful profession. Research has identified some of the competencies that underpin resilience in social workers together with ways in which they may be enhanced. Little is known, however, about social work educators’ views on the concept of resilience and the development of an ‘emotional curriculum’ more generally. This paper reports the findings of a mixed-methods study of social work course leaders working in English HEIs. It explores several issues surrounding emotional resilience and its importance in underpinning sustainable self-care strategies, well-being and optimum practice. Also examined is the perceived usefulness of strategies currently utilised within English HEIs to enhance well-being in social work students’ and educators’ perceptions of other strategies emerging from recent research. Thirty-five course leaders completed an online questionnaire which was followed up by thirteen semi-structured interviews. Social work educators were unanimous in considering an evidence-based ‘emotional curriculum’ to be vital in order to develop healthy, satisfied and competent practitioners. A wide range of innovative teaching, learning and support initiatives to build resilience were identified. Opportunities and barriers to the successful implementation of an emotional curriculum at an institutional and national level are explored.
CitationGrant LJ, Kinman G, Baker S (2014) ''Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others' : social work educators' perspectives on an 'emotional curriculum'', British Journal of Social Work, 45 (8), pp.2351-2367.
PublisherOxford University Press
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work