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- Author or Editor: Ray Jones x
Following a summary of changes in the context of social work education in the last 50 years, the chapter discusses key issues which have shaped educational approaches: the nature of the profession; preparation for one role or for many; student selection and recruitment targets; where decision-making should lie; where responsibility for financing social work education should lie; and the relative importance in social work education of curriculum and programme content, underpinning of professional ethics and a focus on service users, education for anti-discriminatory practice and preparation for practice. Challenges now facing social work education are then discussed. Do higher education institutions and employers agree on what makes a good social worker? Can we and will we learn from evaluation? Are we sufficiently international? Among conclusions drawn are that social work still has a problem with its public image, that insufficient attention has been given to retaining social workers in practice by enabling quality relationship-based work to be practised under good supervision, and that it will be important to maintain programmes of initial education in strong research-based institutions.
The UK has had 40 years of learning about how to protect children from neglect and abuse. Based on the welfare state infrastructure built in the 1940s (Timmins, 1995), services, policies and practice have been developed incrementally to respond to and capture the learning. The consequence has been that when compared to other countries, the UK now has one of the lowest incidences of child deaths following the abuse and neglect of children, and this success has been stable and maintained for many years (Pritchard and Williams, 2009).
It was 40 years ago in 1973 that there was a major public inquiry into the death of a seven-year-old girl from abuse (Department of Health and Social Security, 1974). Maria Colwell died in Brighton, having been neglected and abused in her family home and then violently assaulted by her stepfather. There had been other inquiries before, such as that into the death of Dennis O’Neill, a 14-year-old boy killed by his foster-father (Home Office, 1945), but what was new in 1973 was the media attention given to the Maria Colwell inquiry. In particular, anger about Maria’s awful life and death was turned from the perpetrators of her neglect and abuse and directed at one of the professionals, Diana Lees, Maria’s social worker, who sought to help families and to protect children. She was vilified in the press, described as ‘the defendant’ during the inquiry’s proceedings, and harassed and threatened by a baying mob, who shouted at her during the hearings and chased her outside the inquiry, causing her to need police protection (Butler and Drakeford, 2011).
This chapter describes how the changes in emphasis in social policy nationally and locally have required service users to adapt patterns of user involvement, and considers the role of user-controlled organisations in supporting and driving such changes. It is written from the perspective of a disabled woman who led the development of user involvement in one local authority area and contributed to the national development of disabled people’s action, and that of a senior manager of social services who was committed to enabling users to have a voice. The chapter charts changes to social care services for disabled people since the implementation of the 1990 NHS and Community Care Act, including the implementation of Direct Payments; the Disability Equality Duty; Enhancing the Life Chances of Disabled People Report 2005; and the emphasis on personalisation and introduction of individual budgets. It also notes broader changes taking place within local government during this period. Drawing on experience of leading the development of user involvement and user-controlled organisations to support it both in Wiltshire and nationally, the chapter shows how service users have adapted, how they have worked and whom they have influenced.
This chapter gives an overview of policy and practice for public participation and engagement in England and Wales, and explores the rationale for adopting a participative approach to research. It describes the process used for involving older people in the Grey and Pleasant Land project and some of the challenges that this raised. We review the literature for using the internet to promote public participation in and engagement with research and describe how we used synchronous and asynchronous online methods in this project. This is followed by a discussion of their relative merits and how online approaches compare with face-to-face involvement. The chapter concludes with a series of reflections and recommendations for the involvement of older people as key stakeholders in rural research.
eHealth technologies are widely believed to contribute to improving health and patients’ experience of care and reducing health system costs. While many studies explore barriers to and facilitators of eHealth innovation, we lack understanding of how this knowledge can be translated into workable, practicable and properly resourced knowledge mobilisation (KM) strategies.
Aims and objectives:
This paper describes the aims, methods and outputs of a large European Union funded project (eHealth Productivity and Innovation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (EPIC)) to support the development of a sustainable innovation ecosystem in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, in order to explore how knowledge mobilisation activities can help bridge the know-do gap in eHealth.
Preparatory knowledge sharing, linkage making and capacity building are necessary preliminaries to co-production, with an emphasis on capturing the uses to which patients, carers and health workers want to put new technologies rather than promoting new technology for its own sake. Financial support can play a key role in supply-side dynamics, although the contextual and organisational barriers to eHealth innovation in England should not be underestimated.
This article addresses the synthesis and use of research evidence to inform policy and practice. Reviews of the evidence base in many fields have formed a crucial bridge between research, policy making and practice. Systematic review, in conjunction with meta-analysis, has become an established methodology for locating, selecting, appraising and quantitatively synthesising research evidence according to an explicit and reproducible methodology. However, the ‘standard’ systematic review template associated with the Cochrane Collaboration is often criticised for its perceived inability to cope with variation in study design, nature of evidence and study context. We present five approaches to research synthesis, conducted in different fields, using contrasting methodologies. A number of methodological, practical and strategic implications of conducting research syntheses are explored. The article aims to stimulate debate about what counts as good-quality synthesis, and to demonstrate the growing diversity in its practice. In so doing, the article offers researchers and commissioners a range of approaches to producing reviews of the evidence base.