‘Providing a Link with the Real World’: Learning from the Student Experience of Service User and Carer Involvement in Social Work Education

Julie Irvine, Jeanie Molyneux, Maureen Gillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social work has long placed an emphasis on involving users and carers in the education of practitioners, an emphasis driven by service users and carers themselves, the value base of social work, and by policy and legislation from successive governments and regulatory bodies. Recent changes in regulation and professional standards in social work suggest a continuing commitment to service user and carer involvement. This paper argues that in order to ensure a sustainable commitment, there needs to be greater evidence of the value and purpose of such involvement. Whilst there is a considerable body of literature on this issue in social work education, little focus is on any impact on current and future practice of social work students. The paper discusses a research project addressing this issue from the perspective of social work students. Findings suggest that the involvement of service users and carers in their training was perceived by students as overwhelmingly positive, should be enhanced and that they believed that these experiences were taken forward in their practice. The paper also identifies key points that could inform best educational practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-150
JournalSocial Work Education
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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