Participation - finding out what difference it makes

Guide 20

Published September 2007

About this guide

Who is the guide for?

This guide is written for any individual, group or organisation wishing to find out whether service user and carer participation is making a difference.

Participation and evaluation

There are many ways of being involved in social care:

Social care might be provided by service users and carers, by volunteers or workers, or a combination of these. The services might be provided in the state, charitable or private sectors. Social care is a big part of our lives and, like health and education, it is something that everybody is likely to have some contact with during their lives. In recent years the people who use services and their carers have had a greater say.

This service user and carer participation is meant to improve services by listening to what people want and by acting on this information. In some cases, service users are now organising their own services too. Most people think that participation is a good thing, but:

This guide has been written to help answer these questions. It is based on research to discover what is already known about the evaluation of participation.


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