CONNECTING SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION TO CHILD WELFARE PRACTICE
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Child welfare social workers are struggling with soaring workloads and tremendously difficult situations in their work. Many child welfare social workers feel their social work education did not prepare them well for their job and they identified gaps between their social work education and child welfare practice. This study used a qualitative research methodology to explore child welfare social workers' experiences of their social work education and child welfare practice and the implications for the development of social work education. This research reaffirms that child welfare social workers are overwhelmed by unmanageable caseloads and challenging situations. The findings indicate that although social work education is the foundation for child welfare practice, many feel it does not adequately prepare them to cope with the challenges they face in work. The study’s conclusion suggests strategies that could help to bridge the gaps between social work education and child welfare practice.