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Making Britain ‘Home’: Zimbabwean Social Workers’ Experiences of Migrating To and Working in a British City\ud \ud

By TANDEKA MOREBLESSING TINARWO

Abstract

Recruitment of overseas social workers is increasingly becoming popular with social workers migrating from developing countries to developed countries like the UK which suffer from chronic social worker shortages. Following the heavy recruitment of Zimbabwean social workers by UK local authorities in the early twenty first century, this study focuses on the migration experiences of Zimbabwean social workers recruited from Zimbabwe to come and work for a particular local authority in the UK. The general objective is to examine the forms of support utilised by the Zimbabwean social workers from arriving in the UK, integrating into the workplace and wider society and establishing a ‘home’ away from home. Considering how social capital has been said to bring about positive effects for individuals and society in previous research, social capital is assumed a key concept in this research. \ud Semi-structured interviews were used as the primary data collection method to allow for deep exploration of the Zimbabwean social workers’ experiences together with questionnaires for triangulation. Findings from the study show that the Zimbabwean social workers were able to draw upon different forms of social capital to access as many resources as they could in an effort to develop themselves personally and professionally and eventually establishing themselves as UK citizens. The Zimbabwean social workers’ migration trajectories are far from being linear as most of them live dual lives participating socially, economically and politically back in Zimbabwe while living in the UK with plans to re-migrate for some, and to eventually return to Zimbabwe for others. Research findings may help to improve policy and practice for the recruitment and handling of overseas social workers in the UK and also help to raise awareness of the different types of networks that can be relied upon by these workers within and across borders.\u

Topics: migration, social capital, overseas social workers, ethnic networks, immigrant professionals, international recruitment, diaspora, transnationalism, sense of belonging, Zimbabwe, 'the role of the researcher'
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.dur.ac.uk:821
Provided by: Durham e-Theses

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