An Indispensable Tool in the Tool Kit: Distance Delivery in Social Work Education to Support Child Welfare Practice (Chapter 13 in Transforming Child Welfare: Interdisciplinary Practices, Field Education, and Research).
Voices From the PrairiesTransforming Child Welfare: Interdisciplinary Practices, Field Education, and Research. Part 4, Teaching
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This chapter is written from the position of an academic administrator in social work who has also developed and delivered online courses. It is premised on the vital imperative for social work academic programs to prepare students for effective, innovative, culturally competent, and evidenced-based practice in the field of child protection and child welfare. This imperative is grounded in the problems facing the child welfare field in the Prairie provinces. These difficulties include the very high proportion of First Nations children in care, the inability of the system to keep (especially Indigenous) children from coming to harm, the lack of supportive and culturally appropriate alternatives when parental care is not an option, and a series of deaths of children in care that have led to damning indictments of the system. This chapter makes a case for the usefulness of distance learning pedagogy and technology in meeting the challenges of educating child welfare professionals. It recognizes and examines the work done to date by the e-learning committee of the pcwc; proposes extending and enhancing this work to reach more students, practitioners, and researchers; and maps out challenges in regard to administration, curriculum, and pedagogy in the pcwc’s e-learning courses offered jointly by partnered universities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. (Author abstract)
schools of social work; curricula; education; social workers; cultural competency; evidence based practice; child welfare services; indigenous populations; racial disproportionality; child fatalities; child protective services; problems