UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A survey of the graduates of the School of Social Work of the University of British Columbia Henry, Jack Alexander


Professional instruction for social work has been offered at the University of British Columbia for over twenty-seven years, starting with a diploma course, and extending (since 1945) to a two-year post-graduate course for the Master of Social Work degree. During this period over 700 students have taken courses of one kind or another. For the first time a survey has been made of all graduates known to the School of Social Work, obtaining by questionnaire a substantial body of vocational, education and personal information. The results of the enquiry are presented against the background of the development of social work education in Great Britain, the United States and Canada from its different beginnings in these countries; but special endeavour is made to indicate the dimensions and changing structure of the demand and supply situation for qualified social workers in British Columbia. So many differences between the "pre-war period", approximately 1928-1940, and the most recent "post-war period" are revealed by the survey, that this division is continued throughout the analysis. Indications are that the training received at the School has particularly qualified people to fill positions in British Columbia, and that the bulk of employment found by graduates has been in B.C. Agencies; but continuous quotas of students have come from outside the province, and some graduates have gone to parts elsewhere. While the variety of openings has increased very considerably, it has been seen that men are entering the field in larger proportions. The majority of these men, who are married and have families, tend to occupy the administrative roles, for which higher, salaries are paid. The women, the majority of whom are single and in a younger age group, seem to be in the majority in supervisory positions. Although Public Welfare settings appear to be the most attractive to social work graduates, Corrections would seem to be the most popular setting for the men graduates, with Child and Family Welfare fields for the women graduates. It has been discovered that men receive higher salaries than do the women graduates in this survey. Suggestions are made with reference to the length of formal training required at the School of Social Work, at the University of British Columbia, before a graduate from the School may be considered qualified to practice social work in any area.

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