SCIE opinion – 22 May 2014

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Photograph of Matt Langsford

Co-production: A handy bit of jargon?

By Matt Langsford, freelance member of SCIE’s Co-Production Network

Service user. Co-production. Steering group. I’m 22 and I use this type of language all the time. No, I don’t need to get out more because as a care leaver who’s passionate about changing the way other care-experienced young people are treated, I’m very active. But the jargon can be a bit of a challenge. Let’s smash through that because I want to tell you why people like me need to ‘share power’ with people who provide social care services. It’s called co-production.

I’m a 22 year-old care leaver and a member of SCIE’s Co-Production Network. I’ve been working with SCIE over the last 2 years on various projects that have fully embedded the principals of co-production throughout. A good example is the Care Leavers Stories’ Project; younger care leavers interviewed older care leavers and their stories are now stored, for generations to come, in the British Library. The films are also on the SCIE site: Journeys through the care system, Reflections on being in care and The making of the project, where you’ll find yours truly.

I actively played a part of this every stage of the process, right through to the successful completion of the finished project. I was on the steering group, making key decisions on the progress of the project and I recruited interviewers. I was also interviewed for the project. So, it was a real investment of my time but I was happy to get involved because I was always in control of what I was putting in. My opinion and views were always asked for and then taken into consideration when discussing an agreed action plan to go forward.

Soon, all of SCIE’s staff will have co-production training and I’m one of the people who has co-designed the course. There’s a diverse group of people who are co-producing this training with staff from SCIE. The organisation wants to make sure that everyone involved is on an equal footing and in agreement with the training plan. I’ve been thrilled to be a member of the training group as it has given me the opportunity to enhance my training skills further, and I look forward to seeing SCIE staff being trained shortly.

I was delighted to be asked, along with fellow Co-Production Network member Laura Able, to help write the latest report that went to the SCIE board of trustees. We wrote a foreward and I pointed out that co-production training is now in its final stages of being devised, and it will begin to roll out very soon.

In my opinion, SCIE are pioneers of co-production because they’re passionate about sharing ‘power’ and responsibility with people who use services. I want to see co-production happening. Please see below for all of the resources SCIE have produced on co-production. I hope I haven’t been speaking in jargon because co-production is an important issue and it will help people to have more control over their care and support.


SCIE’s co-production resources

SCIE’s co-production training

Matt’s previous SCIE opinion piece: Help make history - Care leavers

Co-production in social care: What it is and how to do it

Have I got co-production news for you on Social Care TV