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The social care worker receives a comprehensive education through the combination of theoretical knowledge and practice training. The effective worker integrates this knowledge and experience into planned practice that meets the diverse needs of each service user. As well as honed skills and integrated knowledge, the graduate also brings their values, beliefs, socialisation influences and personality traits with them to work. The practice of social care involves working with vulnerable people, and having an understanding of how these “self characteristics” may influence the relationship is essential. According to Garfat, McElwee and Charles (2005: 108), “the social care practitioner is in the field to help others but has no choice but to know self, and to know self intimately”. This study aims to examine the study of self within social care education. The initial objective was to define the self terminology used within social care and ascertain how the self is trained. The primary research revealed the existence of self training within Irish social care education, from the experiences of past graduates and current educators of the National Diploma / Bachelor of Arts in Social Care. The study concludes by presenting a rationale for increased self training to ensure that future students will learn to use the essential practice tool, the self.
Lyons, D.: Just Bring Yourself. Masters Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology, 2007.