• Barbara Simpson School of Social Work and Community Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.
  • Reshma Sathiparsad School of Social Work and Community Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.




Practice education has always been a core component of social work education and provides social work students with opportunities to “learn to practice social work by delivering social work services in agency and community settings” (Bogo, 2006). The purpose of practice education is broadly to enable students to learn to integrate theory and practice, and to develop the knowledge, skills and values necessary for professional practice. One of the issues in transferring such theory into practice is “how to overcome the assumed ‘abstract’ nature of theory in relation to the assumed ‘real’ nature of practice” (Evans, Guile, Harris & Allan, 2010:245), and it is therefore essential to provide students with opportunities to engage in social work processes in the real world. Historically social work agencies acted as the universities’ partners in the practice education of social work students – they provided placement sites and access to social work practice and their supervisors guided and mentored social work students.


Download data is not yet available.


ALSTON, M. & BOWLES, W. 2003. Research for social workers: an introduction to methods (2nd ed). Oxon: Routledge.

BOGO, M. 2006. Field instruction in social work. The Clinical Supervisor, 24(1):163-193.

BOZALEK, V. & LAMBERT, W. 2008. Interpreting user’s experiences of service delivery in the Western Cape using a normative framework. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 44(2):107-120.

CALDWELL, K., COLEMAN, K., COPP, G., BELL, L. & GHAZI, F. 2007. Preparing for professional practice: how well does professional training equip health and social care practitioners to engage in evidence-based practice? Nurse Education Today, 27:518-528.

COETZEE, J.K. 2001. A micro-foundation for development thinking. In: COETZEE, J.K., GRAAF, J., HENDRICKS, F. & WOODS, G. Development: theory, policy and practice. Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa.

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT. 2006. Integrated Service Delivery Model. Republic of South Africa: Government Printers.

DONNER, S. 1996. Field work crisis: dilemmas, dangers and opportunities. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 66:317-331.

EVANS, K., GUILE, D., HARRIS, J. & ALLAN, H. 2010. Putting knowledge to work: a new approach. Nurse Education Today, 30:245-251.

GIDDINGS, M.M., CLEVELAND, P.H. & SMITH, C.H. 2006. Responding to inadequate supervision: a model promoting integration for post – MSW practitioners. The Clinical Supervisor, 25(1/2):105-126.

LILEY, D.G. 2010. Exploring the uncharted: creating a new social work field placement. The New Social Worker, Summer edition:6-7.

LOMBARD, A., WEYERS, M.L. & SCHOEMAN, J.H. 1991. Community work and community development: perspectives on social development. Pretoria: HAUM tertiary.

LUCKETT, K. & SUTHERLAND, L. 2000. Assessment practices that improve teaching and learning. In: MAKONI, S. (ed) Improving teaching and learning in higher education. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.

McLAUGHLIN, H. 2007. Understanding social work research. London: Sage Publications.

PATEL, L. 2005. Social welfare and social development in South Africa. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.

PAYNE, M. 2005. Modern social work theory (3rd ed). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

POULIN, J., SILVER, P. & KAUFFMAN, S. 2006. Serving the community and training social workers: service outputs and student outcomes. Journal of Social Work Education, 42(1):171-183.

REISCH, M. & JARMAN-RHODES, L. 2000. The future of social work in the United States: Implications for field education. Journal of Social Work Education, 36(2):201-214.

SAVAYA, R., PELEG-OREN, N., STANGE, D. & GERON, Y. 2003. Congruence of classroom and field instruction in social work: an empirical study. Social Work Education, 22(3):297-308.

STRYDOM, C., GREEF, M., WESSELS, C., VAN DER WALT, E. & SCHUTTE, P.J. 2009. Experiences of students, service delivery organizations and community members of service delivery to a disadvantaged community by social work students. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 45(2):111-124.

THOMPSON, N. & THOMPSON, S. 2008. The social work companion. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

TILLING, J. 2009. Preparing for social work practice. In: ADAMS, R., DOMINELLI, L. & PAYNE, M. Social work: themes, issues and critical debates (3rd ed). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

WAYNE, J., BOGO, M. & RASKIN, M. 2006. Field notes: the need for radical change in field education. Journal of Social Work Education, 42(1):161-169.

WEYERS, M. 1997. New light on community work and community development: a practical guide. Potchefstroom: Potchefstroom University.




How to Cite

Simpson, B., & Sathiparsad, R. (2014). A UNIVERSITY-COMMUNITY OUTREACH INITIATIVE: AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE EDUCATION. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 47(4). https://doi.org/10.15270/47-4-112