Launch of new short Course for Service Users and Carers

1 Dec

November saw the launch of a new eight week course, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, for service users and carers in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work. The course – Developing and Strengthening Skills and Knowledge for Citizen Involvement in Social Work Education was written by Joe Duffy, lecturer in Social Work, and Brendan Mc Keever, user researcher, and is designed to support service users and carers in their teaching on the Social Work Degree. Service user and carer involvement in social work education is a mandatory requirement since the introduction of the Degree in Social Work in 2004 and social work students have been learning from service users and carers sharing their experiences in various ways, for example:

  • Experiencing ¬†compulsory admission to psychiatric hospital
  • Experiencing of the criminal justice system
  • Experience of caring for a family member with dementia

The course lasts for eight weeks and takes place on Wednesday afternoons. Various topics are covered such as presentation skills, understanding the Social Work Degree, being a social work student and protecting yourself in sharing your story. Twenty seven candidates have enrolled on the course which will run until 22 December and upon completion they will be presented with Certificates of Completion. Joe Duffy, who has responsibility for coordinating service user and carer involvement in the School, commented that:

This short course is a very important development in supporting citizen trainers in the important and highly valued role they occupy in social work education.

The course has been supported by the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC), the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE, London) and the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Social Work and Social Policy (SWAP, University of Southampton).

For further information, contact Joe Duffy: or on: 028 9097 5909


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