Exploring the development of professional identity with newly qualified social workers

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Abstract

This paper discusses the experiences of newly qualified socialworkers as part of a research project exploring professionalidentity. Drawing on literature in this area and a subset of datafrom a larger study involving Australian practitioners, it is arguedthat while several studies explore experiences of identity, thephenomenon remains under-researched, especially in Australia.Seventeen people participated in three in-depth, semistructuredinterviews across a 12-month period. A subset of the dataexplores how participants were actively motivated and benefittedfrom reflecting on their identities through the research process.Findings indicate newly qualified social workers appreciatemeaningful opportunities to critically reflect upon their socialwork identities. It is concluded that further research is needed, tounderstand the identities and needs of newly qualified socialworkers in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-467
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Social Work
Volume69
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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