Frustration provided the impetus for this book. Social work educators and field instructors often express unrelenting frustration with attempts to carry out their gatekeeping responsibilities. Spurred by a series of sessions and workshops on gatekeeping presented at annual conferences of the Association of Baccalaureate Program Directors (BPD) and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), in 1993 a group of volunteers from across the country decided to do something about this frustration by gathering information on the “state of the art” in social work education gatekeeping. This book grew out of the work of these social work educators, who proceeded with courage and determination into relatively uncharted waters. Because the history of this project's evolution is somewhat peculiar, as group efforts go, it seems well worth highlighting.
During my sabbatical leave in the spring semester of 1993, as I sat pondering the stacks of projects before me, I found myself returning to a study on gatekeeping I had previously carried out. Having resolved to bring this particular study to a logical conclusion, I revised and polished both of the articles the research had yielded and shipped the two manuscripts off to publishers; nonetheless I had a nagging sensation of unfinished business.
Like other social work educators across the country, I had spent several years attending all of the sessions on gatekeeping issues offered by the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program