Service user involvement in social work training in England remains “patchy” despite it being a requirement of the degree, according to a study by the Social Care Institute for Excellence.
SCIE wrote to 1,300 service users and their organisations and emailed 300 service user-controlled organisations to ask if they were involved in social work education and training.
SCIE found a large percentage of service user organisations would like to be involved in education but are not, and an equally high percentage of those that are involved would like to be more involved.
Barriers to service user involvement included inadequate training, negative attitudes and assumptions made by students and staff and the time it took to reimburse expenses.
According to the Department of Health’s requirements for social work training, service users should be involved in all aspects of the design and delivery of programmes.
SCIE has produced a good practice guide for universities and service user organisations in this area, which is available here.