Involving service users and carers in social work education
How the guide was created
The guide is based on a synthesis of the following:
- The literature on service users and carers, including reviews, books and articles that cover their views on and expectations of social workers, practical guides and models and experiences of involvement in social work education and training.
- Reports of conferences and focus groups that have been run to promote service user and carer participation in social work education and prepare for the introduction of the degree programmes.
- The responses to a SCIE survey of the 72 universities and colleges providing Diploma in Social Work programmes which asked for information about their plans, approaches and progress towards service user and carer involvement in the degree programmes. This was sent in February 2003 to all the HEIs accredited to provide social work degree programmes by the GSCC in December 2002, and to potential providers applying for accreditation in 2003 or providing social work education at that time. The initial responses were supplemented by additional information from some universities and colleges once their plans for involvement were firmed up or approved in the summer of 2003.
- Information and advice from national bodies and key stakeholders that steered the development of the new degree and were represented on the Department of Health Reform of Social Work Education and Training Qualification Development Group.
- The results of meetings and discussions with service user and carer groups and their partners in higher education about the challenges and opportunities arising from working together, and their plans and approaches to participation.
- The accounts and debates of service users and social work education providers on the key issues relating to involvement in workshops run by SCIE at five Department of Health conferences on implementing the social work degree.
- Finally, and importantly, the Shaping Our Lives National User Network led a consultation on the guide. They invited people from a range of service user organisations with expertise in training to comment on the draft guide. They arranged a meeting that was co-chaired by the Chairman and Manager of the Network; at this meeting SCIE staff benefited from the advice of the members who had read the guide on how its content and format could be improved.