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Building & Maintaining Bridges. Learning the Lessons on the Journey to Involvement.

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Building & Maintaining Bridges

Learning the Lessons on the Journey to Involvement

“We think the most important qualities for social service workers are anti-discriminatory values, respectful attitudes and very good personal communication skills. Users and carers should be involved in training workers to make sure people understand why this is important.”

(Users and Carers Panel, 21st Century Review).

John Dow, Richard Ingram & Jim Sinclair


Richard Ingram

Lecturer in Social Work

University of Dundee

service user and carer involvement at the university of dundee setting the scene
Service User and Carer Involvement at the University of Dundee. Setting the scene….
  • The CU group – principles and activities
  • Teaching and learning – consultation, assessment and delivery.
  • Recruitment
key challenges
Key challenges
  • Organisational constraints
  • Transition from desirability to becoming a requirement
  • Maintaining and developing links in a changing context
  • Maintaining momentum
jim sinclair

Jim Sinclair

University of DundeeMSc Social Work2005-2007


Professional Decision Making

  • “The Caring Experience”
  • Contributing to the Enhancement of Colleagues Skills & Knowledge.

Evaluating and contributing to

policy development

  • Evaluation of Practice Learning.
  • Programme Committee Chair

John Dow

Service Specialist


Why do we need involvement of users and carers?

  • What can we celebrate?
  • What’s needed to achieve real, sustainable, meaningful involvement and INFLUENCE?

The framework for

Social Work Education in Scotland

Launched in 2003 following on from action plan for Social Services

Workforce (April 2002)


Scottish Voices; service users, carers and professionals working together to influence Social Work education at a National Level

  • Patient Focus, Public Involvement initiative, (Scottish Executive 2000)
  • “Changing Lives” agenda (Scottish Executive 2006)

Addressing Barriers to Participation: Service User Involvement in Social Work Training

  • Gina Tyler Social Work Education Vol. 25, No. 4, June 2006,
  • Beresford, P. (2006) Who knows best?
  • Evidence-based practice and the service user contribution. Critical Social Policy, Vol 26(1): 268-284, Sage publications
  • Service User and Carer Involvement: Beyond Good Intentions(Policy and Practice in Health and Social Care Series, edited Mo McPhail, published by Dunedin

What’s needed to achieve real, sustainable, meaningful involvement and INFLUENCE?

  • Demonstration and recognition, that our input is valued, and key to moving into the next phase of partnership working.
  • Transferring the knowledge from the many books etc, into real meaningful practice, and continually evaluating our successes.
  • Ensure that we don’t merely re-write the chapter on “DATA”.
Service User and Carer Involvement in a multi disciplinary context
  • Promotion of ethos beyond qualifying programmes.

Failure to empower user and carers to gain positions within organisations such as SCIE, SWAP, IRISS, SWIA etc, and to allow specific user and carer groups to evaluate the effectiveness of the process of user and carer INFLUENCE from involvement.

  • Modules led by Users and Carers, with the professionals in support.
Recognising the realities of the practice setting with all it’s competing demands, how can we enable more experienced workers to embrace the learning which has been afforded to newly qualifying workers?
How do we ensure that newly qualified Social Workers are supported in translating the learning gained as students into practice as qualified workers?