Creating ‘communities of practice’ to enhance ecosocial work: A comparison between Finland and Australia

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This article reports on findings from a small qualitative study in two industrialised countries—Finland and Australia, which aimed to engage social work practitioners in ‘communities of practice’ to collaboratively explore ecosocial work practice. Using a Participatory Action Research approach, a series of workshops were established to plan, implement and evaluate ecosocial work interventions. Data were gathered using qualitative pre- and post-surveys to examine changes to practice, including similarities and differences between Finnish and Australian practitioners. Overall, results indicated that practitioner engagement in the workshops increased their capacity to implement ecosocial work interventions in both countries. Despite differences identified between Finnish and Australian practitioners at the pre-survey phase, many changes identified at the post-survey phase were aligned. These post-changes involved growth in practitioners’ personal and professional awareness about ecosocial work, as well as observed positive changes within the organisations they worked. Interestingly, organisations were identified as both a barrier and enabler to implementing ecosocial work interventions. The authors conclude that whilst further research is needed, ‘communities of practice’ established through the workshops enhanced the practical application of ecosocial work and may provide a way forward for progressing ecosocial work and the profession’s response to the global environmental crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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