Sustaining professional identity during the initial post-qualification period: Implications for retention strategies

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Abstract

This article discusses findings from a phenomenological Australian study exploring how the professional identities of newly qualified social workers are fostered and/or eroded during the first 12 months post-qualification. A total of 17 participants each completed three semi-structured interviews. The participants revealed individual and systemic factors that impacted how and whether professional identity was fostered and/or eroded. It is proposed from the findings that a combination of multilevel approaches for sustaining professional identity could improve the experiences and retention of newly qualified social workers. The implications for action by educators, employers and the social work profession in Australia and other countries are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Social Work
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

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title = "Sustaining professional identity during the initial post-qualification period: Implications for retention strategies",
abstract = "This article discusses findings from a phenomenological Australian study exploring how the professional identities of newly qualified social workers are fostered and/or eroded during the first 12 months post-qualification. A total of 17 participants each completed three semi-structured interviews. The participants revealed individual and systemic factors that impacted how and whether professional identity was fostered and/or eroded. It is proposed from the findings that a combination of multilevel approaches for sustaining professional identity could improve the experiences and retention of newly qualified social workers. The implications for action by educators, employers and the social work profession in Australia and other countries are outlined.",
keywords = "newly qualified social workers, phenomenology, post-qualification support, professional identity, workforce development",
author = "Bernadette Moorhead",
year = "2019",
language = "English",
journal = "International Social Work",
issn = "0020-8728",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",

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AB - This article discusses findings from a phenomenological Australian study exploring how the professional identities of newly qualified social workers are fostered and/or eroded during the first 12 months post-qualification. A total of 17 participants each completed three semi-structured interviews. The participants revealed individual and systemic factors that impacted how and whether professional identity was fostered and/or eroded. It is proposed from the findings that a combination of multilevel approaches for sustaining professional identity could improve the experiences and retention of newly qualified social workers. The implications for action by educators, employers and the social work profession in Australia and other countries are outlined.

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KW - post-qualification support

KW - professional identity

KW - workforce development

M3 - Article

JO - International Social Work

JF - International Social Work

SN - 0020-8728

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