The following has been written by our Lecturer Practitioner Consultant, Tilia Lenz:
On 12.06.19, I was able to meet with Professor Azlinda Azman from Malaysia to discuss Social Work education in an international context. We considered the challenges of the profession in a cultural context firstly and what this meant for the practitioners. I was surprised to hear that in Malaysia Social Work is not a protected profession and anyone can be calling themselves a Social Worker. Indeed the government is employing very many untrained staff into Social Work positions. Hence Azlinda has been tasked by her University and the mobility research grant to explore how the government can ensure the quality of students and staff alike and Azlinda is developing a capabilities framework to assess this.
We considered how Social Work education is facilitated in the UK and what role Teaching Partnerships play in the all-important placement experience. I shared the Practice Educator support that students have and Fiona Cusack from BU was able to contribute about the processes that BU puts in place to ensure the quality assurance of placement and support. We looked at the Professional Capabilities Framework and assessment tools to share the standards in the UK.
The afternoon was spent learning from each other and appreciating our respective challenges in practice and education. What we all had in common was the passion for Social Work and creating a safe and supportive learning environment for students and practitioners alike.