Service User Participation Myth Or Reality Social Work Essay

As with all my past assignments, I have been aware non to utilize any names of service users or so the name of the administration I am employed by to keep namelessness and protect the confidentiality of the service users who avail of the service. This assignment has non required the aid of any service users or information from the bureau, hence, namelessness is non of issue in this piece of work, and I have non needed to inquire for their consent.

The past 10 old ages have seen more acknowledgment and credence of the right of service users to take part in developing societal attention, particularly given the new duties that cardinal authorities legislative and policy enterprises have placed on administrations to confer with service users. As a consequence, service users are progressively asked to take portion in the planning, proviso and rating of services. This has created involvement in what works in engagement and why. Therefore, this assignment will look at issues around service user engagement, in peculiar, I will specify the footings ‘participation ‘ , and ‘service user ‘ , expression at the history of engagement, analyse Arnsteins ladder and its utilizations for engagement, good pattern and barriers to engagement, which shall include theory and research, to complete one shall discourse what is the deduction of engagement to societal work pattern.

Service user engagement has emerged more so in the last 30 old ages as a cardinal characteristic in societal work policy, pattern, research and instruction. The accent on democracy in the UK over the past century has implied that members of society have a right to take part in civil life, and this accent on engagement has bit by bit been extended to public services ( Taylor et al 2004 ) .

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Service user engagement has been a cardinal subject in the modernization docket when defining and development services, it has besides been highlighted within recent statute law to affect service users in every facet of attention planning, bringing and reappraisal, besides in the engagement of service users and carers in the reform of societal work instruction ( Warren, 2009 ) .

Service user engagement has been influenced by a figure of societal policy theories including consumerism, citizenship, human rights based theories and societal justness attacks, all have helped to organize a model for current pattern in service user engagement ( Abel et al, 2007 ) . However this country is a extremely complex and contested country with small research into how engagement really works in pattern, although there are many published plants on how engagement should be achieved but non how the result of engagement has been achieved.

This is because the specifying the footings ‘participation ‘ and ‘service user ‘ can be hard to specify because of linguistic communication used and are subjective, for illustration, one person may depict themselves as something different to another.

What is a service user?

Beresford ( 2005, p471 ) states that ‘Service user ‘ has tended to develop as a generic term to depict people who receive, have received or are eligible for wellness and societal attention services, peculiarly on a longer term footing ‘ . Beresford ( 2000, P489 ) besides ‘highlights the term ‘service user ‘ as debatable because it views people chiefly in footings of their usage of services, which may non be how they would specify themselves ‘ . A service user Tyler ( 2006 ) states that ‘Being termed a ‘service user ‘ is meaningless to anyone if it does non see the individual behind the label. Although I am proud of whom I am, what I have achieved and bask being me, it is of import that people see the ‘bigger image ‘ of who I am ‘ . The label service user applies to us all, we all use services, some persons more than others which allow them to portion their single ideas and experiences to profit others.

Determining our lives ( 2003 ) give their ain definition and depict this as ‘the term service user can be used to curtail their individuality as if all they are is a inactive receiver of wellness and public assistance services ‘ … they go to state that ‘this do it look that the most of import thing about them is that they use or have used services and ignores other things that make a individual who they are ‘ . This definition indicates that persons are people foremost and thier commonalty of utilizing services and their shared experiences can assist to do betterments to services. However, each person ‘s positions are different to each other ‘s depending on their experiences and hence are non a homogeneous group.

What is Participation?

The Oxford lexicon ( 2010 ) defines engagement as the act of taking portion in something. However, ( Braye 2000, p9 ) states that ‘the linguistic communication of engagement is complex ; the same term means different things to different people, and the same construct may be known as a figure of footings ‘ , such as partnership, engagement, and working together and coaction. Karen Healey ( 2000 ) has, for case, claimed that there is no cosmopolitan definition of user engagement or user engagement. The construct must ever be placed in a context. User engagement is therefore construed and perceived otherwise in different contexts.

Public, societal and single. Involve understanding engagement.

Engagement can include affecting the service user in the appraisal of their demands ; guaranting that their wants and feelings are taken into history, besides in the planning of services required, an illustration of this can be seen in direct payment and single budgets, and besides in the reviewing of attention programs and within meetings where determinations are to be made, this is specifically true in kids ‘s services. The UN Convention ( 1989 ) on the right of the kid states ‘Child engagement is the right of the every kid ‘ , and article twelve provinces ‘Children have the right to be heard and considered in determinations impacting them ‘ ( unicef, 2009 ) . In this context partnership does non merely mention to working with other professionals and bureaus but besides working aboard service users and carers as equal spouses. Thompson ( 2000 ) high spots, societal work intercession involves the exercising of power, which if used negatively can reenforce the disadvantages that service users experience. Used positively nevertheless power can assist to heighten the working relationship, the results, and authorise the service user.

Finally, engagement in strategic planning and service development, research and in the design and execution of statute law, for illustration, our wellness, our attention, our say ( Department of Health ( 2005 ) .

Warren ( 2009, p6 ) states that ‘participation, partnership, engagement, and working together are frequently used to encapsulate a broad scope of different thoughts and activities. These footings may sometimes be used interchangeably or can hold different significances for different people, there being no universally accepted definition ‘ . This besides states that this is a postmodernist position and that linguistic communication shapes our positions of world. If it is true that there is no understanding in how to specify engagement and it is subjective, comparative and is socially constructed, so engagement could be seen as a procedure instead than an result of intercession which so informs of the ground why there is small research into engagement and measuring results. For illustration, if the research is assessed in quantitative, numeral signifiers, such as inquiring how many persons have turned up to a meeting and got involved, it does non take into history that presence does non intend engagement, engagement can be done in so many other ways.

For old ages now Arnstein ‘s ladder ( 1969 ) has informed the pattern of engagement, and has been a cardinal papers in this country. Arnsteins ladder consists of 8 rounds arranged in a ladder form with each round matching to the extent of citizens ‘ power in finding the terminal merchandise ; hence, it focuses on the redistribution of power in citizen engagement in a hierarchical society. ( Arnstein, 1969 )

The purpose to engagement is to accomplish a echt partnership between the service user and bureau and although the ladder is a utile tool to find if the results are being achieved and that the bureau is non take parting in the rounds of tokenism or non engagement ( Dungey et al, 2007 ) . However, the undermentioned position of engagement suggest that Arnsteins ladder has for a long clip now gone uncontested and when looking at engagement we should take a critical stance on Arnsteins ladders and seek out other methods in order to be better informed.

Tritter and McCallum ( 2006, p156 ) province that ‘despite its importance in determining thought, this theoretical account continues to be applied uncritically ‘ , and argues that ‘for Arnstein, the exclusive step of engagement is power to do determinations and prehending this control is the true purpose of citizen battle ‘ . Thus, ‘the different rounds on the ladder relate straight to the grade to which citizens have attained determination doing power with complete citizen control being defined as the highest point ‘ ( Tritter and McCallum 2006, p157 ) . However, the battle of user engagement is complex and persons will explicate their ain significances and action that reflect in their ain positions of what engagement is and how they want to affect themselves. For illustration, a service user can take part and consequence determinations without really holding to hold the power to do a determination, and hence, Arnsteins ladder is constrained by a specific conceptualization of activism, such as hierarchies of power and that engagement should be procedures that are authorising and enabling at four degrees: system, administration, community, and single ( Tritter and McCallum, 2006 ) . Collins et Al ( 2006 ) besides agrees with this and suggests that Arnstein ‘s ladder, with its focal point on power, is deficient for doing sense of engagement at a conceptual or pattern degree. Warren ( 2009, p50 ) states ‘that different degrees of engagement of may be appropriate for different persons and groups of service users and carers at different times and contexts ‘ . Therefore, the ladder does non recognize the diversity of services users who may seek different degree of engagement in relation to different issues and at different times, it merely recognises the hierarchy of power which assumes that service users have a end and a step of this is non accomplishing full power and small chance to measure the person or groups engagement.

Thompson ( 2000 ) discusses that power can be a complex issue that operates on different degrees. Quinney ( 2009, p33 ) states that ‘shared power is a non hierarchal construction where power is shared but duty and answerability demands to be clear. Power sharing can be hard to negociate and is complicated by power being located and experienced at the personal, professional, and social degree ‘ .

When service suppliers seek to affect service users, they frequently do so in order to derive feedback so that they can do alterations and betterments to their services. What this rule asserts is that attacks to engagement should besides be designed so that service users are personally empowered by the experience. In other words, there should be a bipartisan, instead than a one-way benefit. A good illustration of where things can travel incorrect in footings of engagement is when service users feel that their positions have non been listened to or taken earnestly, which can hold the consequence of doing people experience disempowered instead than empowered. Adams et Al ( 2002 ) states that In order to accomplish meaningful communicating, the societal worker demands to be able to construct a relationship with trust ; the kernel of partnership is sharing. ‘It is marked by regard for one another, function divisions, and rights to information, answerability, competency and value accorded to single input. Each spouse is seen as holding something to lend, power is shared, determinations are made jointly and functions are non merely respected but are besides backed by legal and moral rights ‘ ( Tunnard, 1991 ) .

In an overview of research from SCIE, Carr ( 2004 ) suggests that people are being involved and take parting, nevertheless, this research shows that it is ill-defined to what degree and impact that persons have on result, which suggests that better monitoring and rating demand to be addressed with service user which integrates function and feedback in the whole engagement procedure. Crawford et Al ( 2002 ) point out that ‘the ultimate end of service user engagement should be the publicity of wellness, quality of life, or overall user satisfaction with services. However, these results are frequently hard to mensurate, they can take a significant sum of clip to go apparent, and the nexus with the engagement of services users and carers can be hard to turn out ‘ . Overall, the grounds base is by and large weak in the country of rating of user and carer engagement. Few documents examine the results of user engagement for the assorted stakeholders and the existent result steps are ill conceptualised ( Carroll et al, 2007 ) .

The issues involved with researching service user engagement are complex and sentiments are frequently polarized as it is in its babyhood, with many practical, ethical, moral, methodological, and philosophical inquiry unanswered ( Grant et Al, 2007 ) .

No set theoretical account of how to take part… …

Although there are expressed demands to measure how commissioners and suppliers are affecting their users, nevertheless there are fewer centrally set marks to asses this.

Truman and Raine ( 2002 ) claim that there has been a long tradition within the voluntary sector of centering the planning and bringing of services on the demands of users. However, how this is managed can take to tokenism, for illustration, a service may name themselves user led, but in fact when the information from service users is interpreted by workers/ directors this reading can be lost in linguistic communication ; A service may affect service users in planning meetings but when implemented in pattern the workers can utilize their ain reading of this. Tokenism occurs when an administration feels satisfied that it has ticked the boxes, yet the world is experient really otherwise by service users and carers.

Heikkila and Julkunen ( 2003 ) province that user particiaption and user engagement have two really different significances and that engagement is implicative that service user activity has an impact on the service procedure in some manner, whereas, engagement suggests that service user are engagement in a activity merely as sources.

INVOLVE WEBSITE PUBS – 3 theoretical account societal single and social. Put this and what its about as a presentation to particaption. Look at all three and analyse.


Barriers to engagement

As Is have already discussed above power is the biggest barrier to engagement, there are many more barriers which need to be discussed. Barriers are historical, fiscal, physical and attitudinal.

Kenyon Et Al, ( 2002 ) specify entree as ‘the procedures by which people are prevented from take parting in the economic, political and societal life of the community because of decreased handiness to chances, services and societal webs, due in whole or in portion to deficient mobility in a society and environment built around the premise of high mobility. ‘

The reappraisals indicate that organizational civilization and construction besides needs to react and alter in order to suit new partnerships and new ways of working with people who have frequently been oppressed and marginalised. There are things

to larn about advanced and corporate attacks to engagement and alteration from user-controlled administrations such as Centres for independent/inclusive life and self protagonism strategies. Administrations require policies and processs ( formulated with service users ) that engender positive political committedness and minimise opposition to user led alteration. User-led research could usefully uncover more about the function of professional Alliess in advancing alteration.

Healey ( 2000 ) highlights the demand for us to recognize the productiveness of power, and argues that by concentrating on power as merely being oppressive ignores the positive dimensions of power.

to be sensitive to the issues of power and instabilities – to recognize the power instabilities

Healey ( 2005 ) discusses the pattern rules and how the societal worker should follow a positive and optimistic attitude towards service users, working in partnership with them so solutions to jobs are developed collaboratively.

Tokenism occurs when an administration feels satisfied that it has ticked the boxes, yet the world is experient really otherwise by service users and carers.

It is besides indispensable to observe that user engagement takes topographic point on different degrees ( Truman & A ; Raine 2002 ) ,

1 ) at a national and local degree ;

2 ) in the planning, organizing and pull offing services ; and

3 ) in organizing single attention

Barriers to engagement

Good pattern

Deductions for sw authorization, info sharing ECT

Policy and statute law

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Service User Participation Myth Or Reality Social Work Essay. (2017, Sep 30). Retrieved from

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