The effects of adverse childhood experiences of social work students on notions of well-being: insights for education and practice
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This case study focused on the effects of adverse childhood experiences on undergraduate social work students. The notion of subjective well-being (SWB) was used to frame the findings. The study used 20 reflexive assignments of third year social work students and 10 student interviews in a selected university in South Africa. Three themes centred on the effects of ACEs reflecting students’ inner turmoil and externalising behaviours. These effects contrasted with the components of SWB. The implication is that many social work students attend social work classes while still enduring the effects of ACEs. This would imply the possibility that social work students are being trained to intervene in issues evocative of personal experiences which may pose challenges for requisite objectivity. The findings show the need to explore the appropriate social work curriculum, to meet the learning needs of an emerging student profile.