The lived experience of Ghanaian trained Social Workers in Child Protection in England

Dzudzor, George (2021) The lived experience of Ghanaian trained Social Workers in Child Protection in England. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust/University of East London. Full text available

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Abstract

This is an exploratory study which critically examines the lived experience of Ghanaian trained social workers in child protection in England. The increased rate of child abuse in England has called for pragmatic strategies to achieve a better outcome for children and their families. One of the measures has been to increase the number of frontline child protection social workers to help plug the gaps in child protection services. Consequently, various local authority children’s service departments have recruited social workers from abroad to augment their workforce. Among these international social workers are Ghanaian-trained social workers. Using the Free Association Narrative Interview method, my research focuses on a sample of 10 Ghana-trained social workers with a view to understanding what it is like to be a Ghanaian social worker in child protection in England. I also wanted to find out what informs their decision-making processes, with specific focus on the extent to which culture plays a part in their decisions relating to child protection. The findings from this research clearly point out that the experiences of Ghanaian trained social workers in England are multifaceted and put considerable strain on their personal and professional lives. A significant finding arising from this research has been the pain and suffering the participants endured in their bid to work in this country. It emerged that the participants have traversed a long process of struggle with a good deal of injustice and discrimination in their journey. The phases of the journey could be traced to the lack of preparation, leaving their family/loved ones back home, poor knowledge of the child protection process in England, the performance culture in the host nation, racism and difficult work environments among others. The findings are contextualised in relation to social work education and practice in Ghana, Ghanaian culture and its implications for social work practice in England, difficult transitions from Ghana, and lack of knowledge on the policies/legislations and guidance that underpin social work practice here. Most importantly, the study is underpinned by a theoretical perspective that relates to the work of the British sociologist, Anthony Giddens.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Thesis is submitted in partial fulfilment of a Professional Doctorate in Social Work and Emotional Wellbeing awarded by the University of East London, in collaboration with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Social Work and Emotional Wellbeing, D60
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Protection
Groups & Organisations > Racial/Cultural Groups
Social Welfare > Social Welfare Personnel
Social Welfare > Social Work
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2512

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