Social Work professors present research at national conference

Three social work professors presented a study that outlined how simulated client-based instruction methods can complement a practice curriculum.  They presented findings about how experience in the simulated learning labs shapes students’ perceived level of comfort across social work practice.

Department of Social Work´s students in one of the labs used for stimulated clients instruction.

Social work professor Kim Carter, who was the leader researcher, coauthored the research paper “Student Assessment of Self-Efficacy and Practice Readiness Following Simulated Client-Based,” along with social work professors Jayme Swanke and Jill Schreiber. The paper was presented at the The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) 2014 Annual Program Meeting (APM), hosted at Tampa, Fla. on Oct. 23-26. This is the most important social work education conference in the nation, according to Schreiber.

“At SIUE, we hire people to be simulated clients so the students can develop social work skills,” Schreiber said. “This gives social work students practice before going out to work with real clients.”

According to Schreiber, the results of the study helped to determine how simulated client setting is helpful for social work students. Schreiber said the findings indicated that simulated clients practice helps student learn important social work skills, develop their professional identity, reduce their stress when they are at the field, and understand issues such as diversity and work with clients of different races and age groups.

“With simulated clients, students work with diverse people,” Schreiber said. “One of our simulated actors was Muslim, and for students not having experience dealing with people who were Muslim it gave them a great cross-cultural experience that prepare them to going into practicum.”

Few social work programs across the U.S. use simulated clients, according to Schreiber. SIUE has three simulated clients labs where students have the possibility to acquire important skills that will enhance their social work competency, Schreiber said. The three labs have videotape capabilities allowing students to review their performance to gain self-awareness in addition to receiving feedback from simulated clients, professors and other students in the class, Schreiber added.

“Typically, if other programs use simulated clients they use it just as a final test, Schreiber said. “We use it to teach throughout the semester. Even among the few programs that use simulated clients, we are very unique.”

Schreiber said the development of practice skills is a critical component of social work education and how these skills are taught in the classroom directly informs how they are transferred into practice settings.

Simulated clients instruction will be included as one of the competences social work students need to become professional social workers, according to Schreiber.


Be Sociable, Share!

Filed Under: Social Work

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Switch to our mobile site