Skip to main content

Helping others or a rewarding career? Investigating student motivations to train as social workers in England

Stevens, Martin, Moriarty, Jo, Manthorpe, Jill, Hussein, Shereen, Sharpe, Endellion, Orme, Joan, Mcyntyre, Gillian, Cavanagh, Kate, Green-Lister, Pam, Crisp, Beth R and others. (2012) Helping others or a rewarding career? Investigating student motivations to train as social workers in England. Journal of Social Work, 12 (1). pp. 16-36. ISSN 1468-0173. (doi:10.1177/1468017310380085) (KAR id:68347)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download (409kB) Preview
[thumbnail of JSW_Stevens_Motivations_Portal_2016_05_03.pdf]
Preview
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
PDF Publisher pdf
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only
[thumbnail of JSW12-Full-PUblished.pdf]
Official URL
https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017310380085

Abstract

• Summary: Understanding why people want to be social workers is important both for developing social work education and for the profession as a whole. This article presents evidence about the motivations of students enrolled on social work degree programmes in England and draws on data from 3000 responses of three successive intakes of students responding to six online surveys and 26 focus group interviews involving 168 students from nine different social work programmes in six case study sites. The article locates these data in the context of earlier studies of social workers’ motivations, the changing policy context and the changes introduced by the new degree.

• Findings: Similar to previous studies, the current analysis shows that altruistic motivations dominated, but students were also influenced by career issues and the day-to-day aspects of social work. The data highlight continuities with the former qualification in social work in the UK (the DipSW) and provide evidence that the introduction of the social work degree has not dramatically changed the underlying motivations of social work students.

• Applications: Understanding student motivations is important in terms of recruitment to social work qualifying programmes and subsequent retention within the profession. Social work educators and employers need to pay attention to the consequences of mismatches between motivations and expectations about what professional practice involves.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1468017310380085
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: M3 - Article [Field not mapped to EPrints] U2 - 10.1177/1468017310380085 [Field not mapped to EPrints] JO - Journal of Social Work [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: motivations, social work, social work education, social work research
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Personal Social Services Research Unit
Depositing User: Shereen Hussein
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2018 11:49 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:25 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/68347 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Hussein, Shereen: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7946-0717
  • Depositors only (login required):