Date of Dissertation
Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
Underpinning social work education and social work practice are approaches that embrace strengths and resilience perspectives. Social work education aimed at students preparing for work in child welfare is no exception. This banded dissertation consists of three products that address linkages between strengths and resilience perspectives to social work education and practice with families involved in child welfare. The first paper is a conceptual article that discusses engaged pedagogy, transformative learning and reflective teaching pedagogies specific to child welfare-focused social work education. The paper explores the cogency of these pedagogies as powerful approaches for educating and preparing social work students for work in the child welfare field. As reflective practice is taught and modeled in the social work classroom, students learn to examine their own biases and attitudes about the child welfare-involved family. The second paper is a systematic literature review identifying current theoretical and practice themes in child welfare work with families. Using the Preferred Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) approach, the review examined the professional literature to identify theoretical and practice themes within the scope of the search. The criteria for inclusion in the systematic review focused on peer reviewed articles published in the last eleven years that were directed at strengths and resilience-focused work with families in child welfare. The third product of the banded dissertation was an annotated narrative of a peer-reviewed national conference presentation in which the author addressed effective pedagogy in child welfare-focused social work education. Engaged pedagogy, critical reflection and transformative learning were reviewed as methods that contribute to a learning environment that forwards a strengths perspective within social work’s professional competencies.
Kirk, Mary M.. (2019). Towards a Strengths Orientation in Child Welfare: Theory, Pedagogy and Practice. Retrieved from Sophia, the St. Catherine University repository website: https://sophia.stkate.edu/dsw/48