About SWEP

Website aims

This site aims to enable people to:

  • contribute examples of current practice
  • share their experiences
  • highlight useful events, news or links
  • share training materials and related resources
  • discuss key issues with others in the field.

The website has been developed by a partnership of SCIEShaping our Lives, the University of Sussex and a steering group made of services users and carers, with experience in a variety of roles.

Users of the site should recognise and respect the values of these partners.


  • The experience and perspectives of service users and carers should have equal standing with other expert perspectives.
  • Involvement should be based on partnerships with organisations that are led by service users and/or carers.
  • We celebrate the diversity of social care users, care professionals, students and educators.
  • We recognise and value the experience of educators and students who are also service users or carers.

Guiding principles for all who use the website:

  • Use plain language and avoid jargon.
  • Treat other website users with respect
  • Value everyone’s opinion.
  • Don’t assume anything about other website users.

This website and the materials added to the site need to be as accessible as possible. See below for advice on how best to do this.

Purpose of the website

The website is a tool to support the development, implementation and sustaining of good practice in the involvement of service users and carers in social work education.

The website aims to share current  practice and encourage interactive networking, discussion, debate and practical support.

The website is as interactive as possible, but reflects established good practice, which recommends that involvement in social work education is best achieved through partnerships between user and carer controlled organisations, social care and higher education institutions.

The website aims to reflect and celebrate the diversity of social care users, students, care professionals and educators. As well as service user and carer led organisations we also work with higher education institution staff, students and agencies such as Health and Care Professions Council and Skills for Care.

What do we mean by service users and carers?

The term service user is used to describe people who use or have in the past used social care services, but also may include those who define themselves as potential users of social work services, either because they anticipate a future need, or because they choose not to use the services that are currently available to them. Other terms that are used to describe service users are; mental health system survivors, care experienced young people, experts by experience and people who use services

Carers may be defined as people who look after family members, partners, friends or neighbours in need of help because they are ill, frail, in distress, or have a disability. Another definition is someone who provides or intends to provide practical or emotional support. A carer may or may not live with the person they care for. They may be a relative, partner, friend or neighbour. There is no age restriction on being a carer.


We make every effort to make sure that it is as usable and accessible as possible.
However, the site contains links to other websites and to documents, videos etc which are produced outside of SWEP. SWEP and its partners cannot accept any responsibility for these materials. We encourage all users of this website to consider the access needs of other users.Click here for guidance about making documents more accessible.

Linking to us

If you would like to link to us from your website, we suggest using the following text:

Social Work Education Participation (SWEP) at http://www.socialworkeducation.org.uk

Everything that you need to know about participation in social work education in one place.

The website gives social work educators, service users and carers the chance to:

  • Share their experiences with others
  • Find examples of how to get participation right
  • Discover how different carer- and service user-led organisations can help make carer and user involvement effective
  • Keep up to date about the latest news and events around participation in social work education.

If you would like further help or information, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Email: office@swep.org.uk Telephone number 020 7024 7743