UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The staff development program of the Social Welfare Branch Vecic, Claire St. John


The purpose of this study is to enquire into the policies and methods of staff development followed by the Social Welfare Branch with respect to its Field Service staff. The survey involves understanding its generalized, multi-service program, the philosophy and goals of the social legislation of British Columbia, and the administrative organization which brings these social welfare services to citizens. The concurrent development of professional social work practice, and the planning of staff development opportunities as a means of obtaining qualified personnel are outlined. Related to the Agency's role in continuing the professional growth of staff on the job are standards of practice and the appropriate use of personnel. The implementation of a costly welfare program places responsibility upon the Social Welfare Branch to ensure that these services are administered by qualified personnel. In common with other professions that of social work is continuously using new knowledge to refine practice. As it is the personnel who give life to a service program research was first directed to the qualifications, professional and otherwise, of staff employed on the survey date, February 1, 1952. Because of the key position of the District Supervisor, a job analysis to show time distribution by type of work performed was completed. While not a true indication of the quality of work, it is suggestive of the availability of District Supervisors to staff. As a supplementary means of gauging the way in which District Supervisors work the survey questionnaire requested information concerning supervisory procedures. Other data concerning staff development methods was obtained from Branch files, and interviews with administrative personnel: Division Heads, Regional Administrators, Field Consultants, District Supervisors, the Training Supervisor, and the Assistant Director of Welfare. The study showed that it is the objective of the Social Welfare Branch to offer professional services,to employ qualified personnel, and to promote their professional development on the job. The findings confirmed what was already known about the excessive volume of work placed upon the Field Staff which makes it difficult to maintain satisfactory standards of practice. It is apparent the administrative function of the District Supervisor limits unduly the teaching requirements of this position. In order that a well-planned staff development program be carried out it is recommended administrative responsibility and additional personnel for function be given to the Division of Training, and a budget for this program be allocated. To raise the qualifications of Field Staff to a desirable professional standard the extension of bursaries and educational leaves with pay especially for District Supervisors, would have permanent results. Administrative reorganization to separate out the function of Personnel would facilitate better focus upon the staff development program. Several suggestions concerning the In-Service Training Plan are referred to in the text.

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