Education for What? Exploring Directions for the Professionalisation of Social Workers

Mariël van Pelt, Giel J.M. Hutschemaekers, P.J.C. Sleegers, Marion J.C. van Hattum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The complexity of the daily practice of social workers in the Netherlands has increased, while the social appreciation for their work has decreased. Stakeholders involved in social work practice agreed that a master's programme for social workers could be an important step to improve the quality of social work and enhance the professionalisation of social workers. However, stakeholders disagreed considerably on the objectives of this new programme. Hence, there was no focus for the programme or for its evaluation. In order to assess the purpose and intended goals of the master's programme in social work, a retrospective plan evaluation was conducted, consisting of a document analysis and concept-mapping procedure with thirty-nine stakeholders. The study resulted in a consensus-based conceptual framework in which practice development is considered the key domain of the programme. Practice development seems to fit the open domain of social work and meets the various and often ambivalent demands on social workers and their profession. It is regarded as a method in which the social worker with a master's degree has a new role and position in the interplay between clients, stakeholders and professionals
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-295
JournalBritish journal of social work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • METIS-310269
  • IR-95531


Dive into the research topics of 'Education for What? Exploring Directions for the Professionalisation of Social Workers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this