Changing social care: an inclusive approach
People who use services driving culture change - Be aware of under-representation
- Identify those who are rarely involved and whose voices are rarely heard.
- Be flexible and creative, and find out who can find solutions to barriers.
- Steps to improve representation include:
- diversity training, including information on family life
- forming partnerships with local organisations that work with diverse and marginalised groups
- ensuring that service users who participate represent a wider constituency
- remembering to include groups that are often not asked or left out, such as black and minority ethnic service users, and carers in same-sex relationships.
Example: SCIE has published SCIE Position paper 10: Seldom heard - Developing inclusive participation in social care, which identifies what is meant by the participation of services users who are seldom heard and with whom agencies find it difficult to engage. The document examines barriers to participation for this group and presents a framework for facilitating that participation.
How we know this
- Representation is a frequently recurring theme, and the argument that service users who participate are not representative of a wider constituency has been used to discount contributions. There is an onus on the organisation to find constructive ways to involve the widest spectrum of user and carer voices.(Shaping Our Lives et al. 2007).
- Studies show some people are more likely to be left out, or are much less likely to have opportunities to participate. These include people from black and minority ethnic groups, and individuals and their carers who are in same-sex relationships (Robson et al., 2008, Turner et al., 2003)