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Journal of Interprofessional Care

Volume 15, Issue 2, 2001

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Learning for interprofessional and inter-agency practice in the new social work curriculum: evidence from an earlier research study
Research Article

Learning for interprofessional and inter-agency practice in the new social work curriculum: evidence from an earlier research study

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Colin Whittington, Linda Bellab

pages 153-169


The UK Government's consultation document, A Quality Strategy for Social Care (2000) seeks consistency and excellence in care services and enhanced service partnerships. It states that this requires improved training for social workers and raises the prospect of a new social work curriculum in which learning for interprofessional and inter-agency practice will be strengthened. The document stresses the importance of evidence in decision-making in social care and this principle applies equally to training but there are few recent research findings on interprofessional and inter-agency learning in the social work curriculum. There are, however, findings from an earlier study which contributed to the mid-1990s review of the Diploma in Social Work but which have not previously been published in the mainstream media. These findings are reported and show: the kinds of organisations and professions with whom social work practitioners were in close contact in their jobs; the importance attached by social workers to defined skills in working with them; the perceived usefulness of training in developing relevant knowledge and skills; perceptions of shared training; and marked differences of learning experience reported by practitioners who had taken different training courses. Each set of findings is described and used as the basis of questions for the new social work curriculum.

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  • Published online: 06 Jul 2009

Author affiliations

  • a Independent Consultant, London
  • b School of Social Science, Middlesex University, London, UK

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