Promises and Pitfalls: Service user and carer article published

Posted on Friday 28th October 2011

An article by IASS academics Kathryn Farrow and Joy Fillingham, exploring efforts to develop a focus on service users and carers within a module for social work managers as part of post-qualifying (PQ) social work education has been published in the journal Social Work Education.

Partnership working occupies an increasing amount of social work managers’ time and budget, requiring skills and abilities not always developed previously within social work programmes. Much discussion around partnership working centres on building collaborative inter-agency and inter-professional relationships with less emphasis on the need to ensure good working relationships with service users and carers, despite their being the ultimate recipients of the process. This article explores efforts to develop a focus on service users and carers within a module for social work managers as part of postqualifying (PQ) social work education. It documents a process where, initially, service users and carers provided personal testimonies of being recipients of services and then subsequently occupied more authoritative roles within teaching, to the current position when they are again less actively involved.

In describing these developments it explores possible reasons why involving service users and carerswithin this module has proved challenging. The article acknowledges that there is relatively limited literature about the involvement of service users and carers in PQ education. It suggests that lessons learned from involving service users and carers in qualifying social work training cannot directly be transposed to the post-qualifying context.

'Promises and Pitfalls: Involving service users and carers in social work manager education (pdf; opens in new window)