Engaging the social work profession in the transnational professional space.

Allen Bartley, Liz Beddoe and Shajimon Peter

 

This study is an Aotearoa New Zealand-wide participatory action research project involving all the significant stakeholders in the social work profession to develop an agreed-upon set of standards and expectations of context-specific professional and socio-cultural transitioning programmes for overseas-qualified social workers in New Zealand. This is the latest phase in our “Crossing Borders- Migrant Professionals study”. Our publications are listed here.

This project builds on growing national and international evidence that the increasing transnationalism of the social work profession has not been matched by a readiness of the profession’s key stakeholders to prepare adequately for the challenges of an increasingly transnational workforce.

The stakeholders involved in the project will include the professional bodies: ANZASW, the SWRB, the Tangata Whenua Social Workers Assocation, Tangata Whenua Voices, and also social work employers, specialist employment agencies and the Council for Social Work Education Aotearoa New Zealand (CSWEANZ). The research involves several phases, including a national stock-take across the profession of activities undertaken to address the challenges of the transnational professional space; an intensive series of workshops to disseminate initial findings and work with stakeholders to construct a range of potential responses to them; and an international colloquium to generate a robust, profession-wide set of standards for the cultural transitioning of transnational social workers, and to plan for the development of accredited learning platform for transnational social workers practising – or intending to practise – in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The project has a cumulative set of research objectives that can be framed as specific questions:

  1. How do the stakeholders in the Aotearoa New Zealand social work profession understand the contribution and needs of transnational social workers practising in Aotearoa New Zealand?
  2. What is actually being done across the profession to facilitate the successful integration of transnational social workers into local professional contexts?
  3. What is required to develop consistent standards across the profession with regard to the foundational local knowledge and cultural competence required of transnational social workers to practise in Aotearoa New Zealand, and what are the mechanisms by which the profession might produce and make available resources for capability-building towards those standards?
  4. How might stakeholders from across the Aotearoa New Zealand social work profession partner together to develop a major, multi-agency bid to design, develop, implement and evaluate a nationally-recognised and accredited learning platform for transnational social workers practising – or intending to practise – in Aotearoa New Zealand?

The project is funded by the University of Auckland Faculty Research Development Fund for two years commencing on the 1st of September, 2016. The research team consists of Dr Allen Bartley (lead investigator), Associate Professor Liz Beddoe (Co-investigator) and Dr Shajimon Peter (Research Fellow).

If you are interested  in discussing this research with us please contact me at e.beddoe@auckland.ac.nz

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About socialworknz

I'm a social work researcher in Aotearoa New Zealand
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