Journal Article

College Based Placement Co-ordinators in the United Kingdom: Their Perceptions of Stress

Stewart Collins and Saija Turunen

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 36, issue 6, pages 1037-1058
Published in print September 2006 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bch403
College Based Placement Co-ordinators in the United Kingdom: Their Perceptions of Stress

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Placement co-ordinators on college-based social work courses have a demanding task, liaising with students, tutors and agency training sections in order to provide appropriate practice learning opportunities. They cope with long established limitations on the quantity and quality of placements. Therefore, the role would appear to be a stressful one. This research examines job satisfaction, pressure and constraints, psychological well-being, the impact of the host institution, and some changes that might alleviate stress. A postal questionnaire was sent to all placement co-ordinators on college-based social work courses in the UK. The findings indicated that small numbers of placement co-ordinators experienced high levels of stress to the point of suffering from ‘borderline’ anxiety and depression. Stress scores for placement co-ordinators as a whole, however, were lower than those of the general UK population. The co-ordinators enjoyed considerable autonomy and a reasonable amount of support. Generally, they had positive attitudes towards the institutions where they worked. Males tended to emphasize the importance of the institutional context rather than females. However, around half of the placement co-ordinators had considered giving up their posts; only about a quarter liked their work. Respondents enjoyed only limited job satisfaction, felt pressurized, subject to excessive demands and were ambivalent in attitudes about managers, colleagues, students and practice teachers.

Keywords: social work; placement co-ordinators; stress

Journal Article.  9098 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Work

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