Service user and carer involvement in social work education is now well established since its inception as a compulsory requirement in the social work curriculum in the United Kingdom in 2003. Since then, there have been many examples of how such involvement has been approached by education providers. Nevertheless, one of the key obstacles and challenges in this field continues to centre on the need to achieve non-tokenistic user involvement which cements the engagement of service users and carers at the heart of social work education. This paper describes one such initiative where service user and carer colleagues in a university in Northern Ireland have been actively involved in the assessment of first year social work students’ preparation for their first period of practice learning. The paper presents the background to this initiative explaining how the project unfolded; the detailed preparations that were involved and the evidence gathered from evaluations undertaken with the students, service users and carers, and academic colleagues who were all involved. We believe that the findings from this project can contribute to the advancement of existing knowledge in the field in exploring and recommending creative methodologies for user involvement in social work education.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)