The participation of adult service users, including older people, in developing social care

Whole systems approach

Whole systems approaches involve identifying the various components of a system and assessing the nature of the links and relationships between each of them.

Whole systems approaches are a useful way of looking at participation because:

Wright and colleagues (2006) suggest that different elements of participation can be brought together in a single framework, like a jigsaw puzzle. We thought that this was a useful way to look at participation and will go on to consider each one separately.

Figure One: A whole systems approach to participation

Graphic showing the Jigsaw model for adopting a whole systems approach to participation. The jigsaw consists of four interlocking pieces: 1) Culture - the ethos of an organisation, shared by all staff and service users which demonstrates a commitment to participation; 2) Structure - the planning, development and resourcing of participation evident in an organisation's infrastructure; 3) Practice - the ways of working, methods for involvement, skills and knowledge which enable young people to become involved; and 4) Review - the monitoring and evaluation systems which enable an organisation to evidence change affected by participation.

(Wright et al., 2006, p12)