Social work with interpreters in the disability sector : Developing practice principles

Journal article


Connor, Shona, Zubrzycki, Joanna and Foreman, Dayle. (2021). Social work with interpreters in the disability sector : Developing practice principles. Australian Social Work. pp. 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2021.2001833
AuthorsConnor, Shona, Zubrzycki, Joanna and Foreman, Dayle
Abstract

This study explored social workers’ experiences of working with professional language interpreters in the disability sector with the goal of developing guiding principles for practice. Despite clients from diverse backgrounds increasingly accessing disability services, interpreter-mediated social work in the disability service context is an under-researched field. Six social workers participated in semistructured interviews. Findings suggest that social work with interpreters is a field of practice comprising practical and interactional challenges, requiring a high degree of professional discretion to optimise client outcomes. Emerging from the research are potential guiding principles for practice emphasising training, adaptability, interprofessional collaboration, person-centredness, and reflexivity.

IMPLICATIONS

Interpreter-mediated social work in the disability sector presents unique challenges as a practice context.

Interpreter-mediated social work is characterised by a complex professional inter-culture, requiring social workers and interpreters to mediate professional power and role negotiation to achieve effective service delivery.

Guiding principles for practice may emphasise training, adaptability, interprofessional collaboration, person-centredness, and reflexivity.

Keywordssocial work; disability; interpreter; interprofessional practice; interprofessional collaboration; interprofessional power; cultural factors; professional training; patient care; culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) clients; people with a hearing disability; deaf clients; non- english speaking clients; Australia
Year2021
JournalAustralian Social Work
Journal citationpp. 1-9
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN1447-0748
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2021.2001833
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85120542712
Web address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0312407X.2021.2001833
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-9
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online29 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted31 Oct 2021
Deposited19 Oct 2023
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