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Teaching social work students about social policy

Authors

  • Jill Gibbons,

  • Mel Gray


Jill Gibbons is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Email: jill.gibbons@newcastle.edu.au
Mel Gray is Professor of Social Work and Head of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Email: mel.gray@newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

This paper describes an integrated approach to teaching social policy within a unique experience-based social work education program. It argues that the teaching of social policy should not be separate within the social work curriculum and provides an example of the integration of policy and practice in teaching students about child protection. It examines the teaching of policy practice using a strengths perspective where it is seen as a bottom-up, inductive process rather than an activity carried out by social work experts with or without the participation of their client groups.

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