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Lost and Finding: Experiences of Newly Graduated Critical Social Workers
Gallop, Cynthia J.
The first year of social work practice can be very stressful for new practitioners. Practice develops in response to the meaning we place on what we do and on our professional goals. Having a better understanding of how new graduates navigate the transition from idealized work to real practice is important if the profession is going to improve the overall self-efficacy, happiness, and commitment of social workers. In this paper, I discuss some of the findings from research that utilized philosophical hermeneutics as an approach to understand how newly graduated social workers, educated in a critical tradition, experience their practice. Critical social workers described their practice as experiences of being both lost and finding. Specifically, it is an experience of trying to get into, around, or through the real world of paid work-based practice. This is the challenge of emancipatory work. The “real world” becomes a box where it is very difficult, if not impossible, within which to move. Arguments are made for critical social work schools and organizations to develop peer-support groups, focused on critical reflection and reflexive practice, to assist current critical social work students and new graduates to recognize, support, and sustain emancipatory practice.
New graduate experiencesPeer supportCritical reflectionReflexive practicePhilosophical hermeneuticsCritical social work practice
Critical Social Work
Gallop, C. J. (2018). Lost and finding: Experiences of newly graduated critical social workers. Critical Social Work, 19(1), 43-63.
CC0 1.0 Universalhttp://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
Health, Community and Education