The effects of skill training on social workers professional competences in Norway: results of a cluster-randomised study

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British Journal of Social Work;


Oxford University Press



Using a cluster-randomised design, this study analyses the effects of a government-administered skill training programme for social workers in Norway. The training programme aims toimprovesocial workers’ professionalcompetences byenhancingandsystematising follow-up work directed towards longer-term unemployed clients in the following areas: encountering the user, system-oriented efforts and administrative work. The main tools and techniques of the programme are based on motivational interviewing and appreciative inquiry. Thedata comprise responses to baseline andeighteen-month follow-up questionnaires administered to all social workers (n ¼ 99) in eighteen participating Labourand Welfare offices randomised into experimental and control groups. The findings indicate that the skill training programme positively affected the social workers’ evaluations of their professional competences and quality of work supervision received. The acquisition and mastering of combinations of specific tools and techniques, a comprehensive supervision structure and the opportunity to adapt the learned skills to local conditions were important in explaining the results



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