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Readiness for practice: social work students' perspectives in England, Italy, and Sweden

Höjer, Staffan; Frost, Elizabeth; Hojer, Staffan; Campanini, Annamaria


Staffan Höjer

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Liz Frost
Associate Professor in Social Work

Staffan Hojer

Annamaria Campanini


The aim of this article is to present the views of social work students from three different welfare regimes-Italy, Sweden, and England-and to analyze in what way at the end of their training they feel ready to practice. Primarily, it considers the findings of a comparative pilot study conducted in the three countries. Specifically, the paper initially offers general comments on the European context of standards of social work competence and how these impact on the countries involved here. It then briefly discusses the three different welfare regimes that these countries reflect. Social work education is then given some consideration, including reflection on similarities and differences in each curriculum. We then review examples of previous research on students' readiness to practice, also referencing models of competence previously developed. After this we look in detail at the research study itself, with a short discussion of its methodological-primarily phenomenological-approach and modest scope, before we consider tentative findings in relation to the themes of theory, practice, and personal growth. The paper concludes with reflections on levels of competence attained and how the research might best be extended. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.


Höjer, S., Frost, E., Hojer, S., & Campanini, A. (2013). Readiness for practice: social work students' perspectives in England, Italy, and Sweden. European Journal of Social Work, 16(3), 327-343.

Journal Article Type Review
Publication Date Jan 1, 2013
Journal European Journal of Social Work
Print ISSN 1369-1457
Electronic ISSN 1468-2664
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 3
Pages 327-343
Keywords comparative, european, preparedness, students, social work
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