Wellness and Relational Self-care in Social Work Field Education

By Julie Drolet and Christina McLennan.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Social workers and allied health professionals are beginning to acknowledge the importance of wellness and self-care as a critical component of the helping professions. This article presents the results of an exploratory research project that aims to advance knowledge and to better understand wellness and self-care in social work field education. Interviews conducted with social work and social service students, field instructors, and faculty liaisons in Western Canada reveal the importance of wellness in social work field education through holistic approaches and by incorporating multiple dimensions of well-being (physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual) in structural workplace environments. A framework to support student learning is proposed on wellness and “relational self-care” with respect to social work field education and to better prepare students for practice.

Keywords: Wellness, Social Work, Field Education, Self-care, Ethics, Education

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 6, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.9-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 848.154KB).

Dr. Julie Drolet

Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Christina McLennan

Limited Term Faculty, School of Social Work and Human Service, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada