Anglia Ruskin Research Online (ARRO)
Social work students in school critical reflections on interventions with LGBTQ young people within secondary schools.pdf (1.48 MB)

Social work students in school: critical reflections on interventions with LGBTQ+ young people within secondary schools

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-04-10, 08:55 authored by Jennifer Rafter, Catherine Lee, Katharine Williams, Ruth McManus

This paper aims to explore how social work students can support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ+) young people in schools. Drawing on the reflective practice portfolio documents of four students who worked with LGBTQ+ young people in a school as part of a social workers in school (SWIS) student placement project, the article uses thematic analysis to identify how the students were able to support young people identifying as LGBTQ+. The article subscribes to a poststructuralist theoretical framework which sees gender and sexual identities as multiple, fragmented and constructed in relation to others and within the systems of knowledge and power that exist in schools. The article demonstrates the benefit to schools of having social work students on practice placement. The students’ own reflections critically contemplate the way in which they were able to spend more prolonged periods of time with young people than the teachers could, both with individuals and LGBTQ+ groups. The students’ reflective portfolios show the value of the school placements to their own development of knowledge and skills.



  • Yes

Page range


Publication title

Sex Education




Informa UK Limited

File version

  • Published version


  • eng

Item sub-type

Journal Article

Affiliated with

  • School of Education and Social Care Outputs