Viviene E. Cree and Ann Davis
Review by Katherine Birnie, senior social worker, Brighton and Hove Council
This a very useful and positive book focusing on key themes for service users, their families and carers, and social work practitioners alike.
Service users share their personal experiences of social work support, and how they feel they were (or were not) involved in decision-making regarding their futures. Their experiences and a brief summary of their history and the difficulties they faced help build a picture that you can refer back to as you read through the chapters.
I found it refreshing to share their positive outcomes and how greatly they valued their support. Similar themes were shown to emerge as service users were asked about the characteristics they welcomed from social work practitioners. They outlined these as listening and showing respect, building relationships, and the importance they all felt regarding more longer-term support.
These themes can be used to assist practitioners in the process of reflecting upon their professional development, particularly in learning more about how our services are received and how our service users feel when we enter their lives.
This book will also be useful for students in learning more about service users’ experiences, positive and negative, of our input and in appreciating that it is sometimes necessary to challenge boundaries and service restrictions in order to remain person-centred in our practice.
From 6 November 2008 edition of Community Care magazine