Coaching and Social Work
A Strategy for Developing Leadership and the Workforce
Keywords:coaching, leadership development, workforce development, organizational learning
There is increasing recognition of the merits of coaching in social work, yet gaps in knowledge persist about the use and effectiveness of coaching in social work settings. This article bridges concepts and findings from the literature on coaching to provide readers with the information needed for decision-making about whether and how to integrate coaching into practice. Coaching is currently being used in a number of social work fields of practice to support the transfer of learning, practice implementation efforts, leadership development, and organizational processes. The evolution of coaching from the corporate world into service delivery settings is reviewed, with special attention to the commonalities and distinctions between coaching and social work practice. Knowing more about the background, purpose and value of coaching can equip the profession with further insights about the appropriate application of coaching in the world of social work. Moreover, the reader is invited to assess the potential of coaching as a method for enhancing workforce and leadership competencies and practice behaviors in service of improving client outcomes.
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