Title

Personal and professional boundaries in Australian social work: A study of the self in practice

Publication Date

2009

Abstract

Personal and Professional Boundaries in Australian Social Work presents the findings of a national research project that explores how a group of social workers construct these boundaries in their daily practice. These practitioners come from diverse cultural backgrounds; Aboriginal and Torres Strait, Anglo Australian, Anglo Celtic, Jordanian, Chinese, South American and Filipino. They work in a range of rural and urban contexts and in different fields of practice. Through the analysis of their practice experiences, a new theory emerges about the relationship between the personal and the professional self and how the boundary between these 2 identities is constructed. This theory highlights the influence of a range of factors on the construction of personal and professional boundaries including; cultural identity, gender, social class and the context of practice. It also identifies that the boundary between the personal and the professional self is a site of knowledge development in social work. The research has implications for social work education, practice, staff recruitment, retention and supervision.

School/Institute

School of Social Work

Document Type

Book

Access Rights

ERA Access

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