Teaching and learning communication skills in social work education

Key messages from service users and carers

"When people not used to speaking out are heard by those not used to listening real changes can be made.” (John O’Brien, mental health worker)

Social workers who are good at communication:

Many of the points made here echo statements that were made during a detailed consultation that took place as part of the development of The national occupational standards. These statements can be found in the Statement of expectations from individual, families, carers, groups and communities who use services and those who care for them (www.topss.org.uk). For details of how these statements specifically link to The national occupational standards for social work please see www.topss.org.uk (13)

For more information on 'simple skills’ that can make a difference, see A lot to say: A guide for social workers, personal advisors and others working with disabled children and young people with communication impairments and The good practice guide for support workers and personal assistants working with disabled people with communication impairments, two communication skills resources both produced by and available free from Scope (www.scope.org.uk). You can also find out more about A lot to say by going to Chapter 7 and looking at Practice example 4 (p 30).