User and carer involvement

On this page you will find SWAP's resources relating to user and carer involvement. The involvement of users and carers in the social work curriculum is an issue of central concern to everyone involved in learning and teaching social work and social policy in Higher Education.

Highlighted resource
help sheet

Involving alcohol and drug specialists in social work education help sheet - Service users were key members of the curriculum development group formed to advise on the contents of the teaching and learning guide Social work and substance use: teaching the basics. Whilst contributing to all the materials produced the project was particularly grateful for input to the helpsheet: involving alcohol and other drug specialists in social work education.

Published November 2009

Involving alcohol and drug specialists in social work education help sheet (PDF, 207KB)


Improving social work responses to parental substance use: models of good practice for social work
Sarah Galvani and Donald Forrester, University of Bedfordshire
Project summary

Mental Health in Higher Education, Jill Anderson, University of Lancaster, Project summary
SWAP supports The Mental Health in Higher Education project. MHHE liaises with users and carers involved in learning and teaching in Higher Education through the DUCIE (Developers of User and Carer Involvement in Education) network. A second network PEPIN (Professional Education Public Involvement Network) is an open forum which aims to share information and promote discussion relevant to the inclusion of patient, service user and carer voices in professional education.

Service user and carer participation in social work education in a Northern Ireland context
Joe Duffy, Queen's University Belfast
Project summary


Participating and learning: citizen involvement in social work education in Northern Ireland: a good practice guide (PDF, 4.5MB) Jo Duffy (2006) Guidance to complement established good practice in the involvement of service users and carers in Social Work training on degree programmes in Northern Ireland.

Learning and teaching guide: Social work and substance use : teaching the basics (PDF, 418KB) Sarah, Galvani (2009) Exampes of teaching activities for seven core substance use topics.

Helpsheet: Involving alcohol and other drug specialists in social work education (PDF, 207KB) Sarah Galvani, (2009) Things to consider when involving alcohol and other drug specialists.

Helpsheet: Using substance use research tools to promote teaching and learning (PDF, 191KB). Donald Forrester, (2009)Examples of two research tools and how to use them to promote learning and teaching.

Information sheet: Domestic violence and substance use in the soial work curriculum (PDF, 193KB) Sarah Galvani, (2009) Selected resources including websites, DVDs, texts.

Information sheet: key resources for teaching on substance use (PDF, 186KB) Sarah Galvani, (2009) Multiple resources including DVDs, texts, websites, selected for their relevance to social work and their reliability.

Case studies: Teaching substance use in social work education (PDF, 207KB) Sarah Galvani, (2009) Variety of case studies for small group teaching provided by front line social workers and service users.

Good practice guide one: Learning from experience - involving service users and carers in mental health education (PDF) Jerry Tew et al. (2004)The guide contains a general intoduction to the topic, draws on a range of current initiatives and suggests ways to achieve effective involvement.

Involving service users and carers in education: the development worker role (PDF, 739KB) DUCIE (2009)

Service user and carer involvement in the assessment of student learning (PDF, 119KB) - An annotated bibliography compiled by Jill Anderson on behalf of the Mental Health in Higher Education Project

Case studies

Person centred planning and involving service users at the University of Glasgow: a case study in learning and teaching about assessment in social work education (2003)
Peter Allen c/o Pam Green Lister, University of Glasgow
Case study summary

The MHHE website contains an evolving collection of relfectiive accounts of learning and teaching mental health. The case studies are cross disciplinary.

Digital learning resources

Involving users and carers in the social work admissions process. This three minute DVD film was made by a group of service users and carers to profile some of the key skills necessary at undergraduate level as well as professional skill development.

Social Work Education Participation (SWEP) This website has been developed by a partnership of Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), Shaping our Lives, the University of Sussex and a steering group made of services users and carers, with experience in a variety of roles. The project is funded by the Department of Health

Patient Voices - is a great resource for creating digital stories. User groups pay for the workshop/creation, then the materials are available free of charge on their web-site. The 'Patient' is more of an allusion to having to be patient rather than siting it as 'health' related.

CEIMHEtv has been produced by the Centre of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Mental Health to provide mental health educators, students, service users and professionals with access to high quality video resources.

Social Care TV hosts videos of service users of all ages and some of the issues they face on a day to day basis. The online channel is produced by SCIE (Social Care Insititute for Excellence).

Other resources

SCIE's resources on social work education - SCIE has published several useful resources related to user and carer involvement

SCIE (2008) Contributing on equal terms: service user involvement and the benefits system (PDF, 123KB)
SCIE (2007) Common aims: a strategy to support service user involvement in social work education (PDF, 199KB)
SCIE (2004) Involving service users and carers in social work education (PDF, 295KB)

Shaping our lives (2007) User involvement in social work education: report of regional consultations with service users to develop a strategy to support the participation of service users in social work (PDF, 292KB)

IRISS (2005) Service User and Carer Involvement in Social Work Education: Good practice guidelines (PDF, 94KB)
Scottish Voices: service users and carers at the heart of social work education (PDF, 424KB)

Joseph Rowntree Foundation Increasing user involvement in voluntary organisations

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2006) making user involvement work: supporting service user networking and knowledge

overlay shaddow Discussing paperwork

To stay informed of SWAP developments and news from the sector register with SWAP. This will enable you to receive updates such as the SWAP newsletter 'Infocus' and e-bulletin.

If you would like to inform colleagues about SWAP download a SWAP flyer (PDF, 374KB).

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