Below you will find three sample learning resources to give you a taste of the print, audio and video content available on The Social Work Toolkit. Every resource on the site is supported by learning objectives and reflective questions, plus some suggestions for related resources.
There are nearly 200 resources such as this on the site, organised into five themes which are central to Social Work training:
The resources shown below all come from the "Professionalism in Practice" theme.
A quick guide to help students understand the pressures of social work and how best to manage them in order to avoid burning out by Rona Woodward
Social work students share insights in a video interview about balancing competing demands on their time
Listen to one student's perspective on the importance of practice learning opportunities in this audio case study
After considering this resource, you should understand the pressures of social work and how best to manage them and yourself in order to avoid burning out.
Social work, like other caring professions, can be an incredibly stressful environment, as you are working with individuals who are in difficult circumstances. You can run the risk of exhaustion or emotional fatigue; in other words, of burning out. But this is not just an individual phenomenon, but also an organisational one, or even, as Maslach et al. suggest, a wider ''social'' one. But it is not inevitable. Institutional support and good practice can help allow social workers to fulfil their professional obligations effectively without pushing themselves beyond emotional and physical limits.
This quick guide suggests a number of individual and collective actions that can be taken to prevent yourself from burning out.
After considering this resource, you should understand different approaches of managing time on placement.
When you are on placement, you are essentially working in a full-time job, alongside managing your course commitments and your private life. It is vital for you to manage your time effectively therefore, to achieve a balance across these different elements.
In the following video, students share how they approach time management on placement, and suggest ideas you may wish to adopt when you are on placement yourself.
After considering this resource, you should understand the importance of taking opportunities presented to you to develop your practice learning.
Placement will present you with the golden opportunity for making maximum use of the learning opportunities you will come across (Thompson and Thompson, 2008, p.37) .
You should be prepared to make the most of these chances to develop your practice including shadowing other workers and managing your own case load (Thompson and Thompson, 2008, p.37). In accepting these challenges, you may well make mistakes, but only by adopting a proactive approach will you be able to put to the test what you have learnt elsewhere and improve your skills as a practitioner.
In the following case study, Mags talks about a placement at an advocacy project she has recently completed, and the lessons she learned about taking advantages of the learning opportunities she was presented with.
You will find resources in a range of media, including:
There is also a personalised 'My Toolkit' area on the site, where students can store reflections in an online journal, bookmark useful resources and save searches.
The Social Work Toolkit helps students develop the knowledge, core skills and confidence they need to succeed on their course and throughout their placements. Our extensive range of resources, including videos, case studies, book chapters and expert opinion articles are available to students whenever they need support, on or off campus.