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25 April 2006

Students take the pledge

Second-year social work students have taken the plunge. Over the past weeks, they've had their first taste of field work. They started nice and easy on a non-interventive individual attachment programme, which will be stepped up into full-blown social work practice over coming months. But that comes with some responsibility. So at a recent function, this year's students formally pledged their compliance to the Student Acknowledgement of Professional Conduct, tailor-made for this purpose by the Department of Social Development some 10 years ago. The document, which students are required to endorse with their signatures, goes hand in hand with their registration with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) as student social workers. "It's really to impress on them the ethical responsibility they have towards the people they are going to be working with," says the department's Shona Sturgeon. The occasion, attended by faculty, family and friends, also doubles as an awards ceremony where the department's best-performing students of 2005 are honoured. Social Development also pulled off a scoop this year, attracting two deans to the event - Prof Paula Ensor, dean of humanities, and Prof Marian Jacobs, dean of health sciences.

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