Educators

Academics teaching social work courses benefit from service user and carer involvement in many ways. It helps them to put across some important issues about being a social worker to their students. It can keep them up to date with practice and highlight where they need to update their knowledge and value base.

Service users and carers bring a source of knowledge and skills that can support academics in their role, particularly around challenging misconceptions and stereotypes.

‘It is difficult to overstate how useful it is to have input from people who have significant life experiences of social services. The perspective that service users can bring on how our practice will impact on people’s lives helps to entrench in the mind that we are not ‘playing a game’ or even ‘testing a hypothesis’ but instead trying to achieve a positive outcome for another human being.’

‘As a tutor I am still taken by surprise, I mean there are critical moments when I find myself learning something I was previously unaware of, so my education still continues and you realise you can never say we get things right really, you haven’t really, it requires a lot of work.’

‘We did a small piece of research on students’ perception and understanding of [the] impact of service user and carer involvement on the programme incredibly positive and incredibly well received by students who would almost be up in arms if we took it away. They see it [as] adding depth, perception and appropriate scale to the teaching.’