Assessment in social work: a guide for learning and teaching
Service users and carers
In this section:
- The perspectives of service users and carers on assessment
- Involvement of service users and carers in assessment
- User-led assessment
- Values and ethics
It should be emphasised that the practice in this guide of referring to service users and carers together does not imply that their interests or needs are identical or never in tension. However, a number of matters relevant to ‘involvement’ do apply broadly to both groups and this point is relied upon here. Occasionally, a summary phrase may refer only to service users but this is not to exclude carers. Researchers and practitioners engaged in more in-depth and focused consideration of needs and interests than is attempted here, including social work assessment itself, should always allow for diversity and for the possibility of differences both among and between service users and carers.
Section 23, on user-led assessment, departs from the established pattern of the guide in using the three SCIE-commissioned sources as key reference point, venturing into a related area of developing assessment policy and practice. The section concludes with an analysis that produces five models of assessment, distinguished by the extent to which they are user-led.