Professional education

Does service user involvement make a difference?

Authored by: Colin Cameron , Helen Casey , Joe Duffy

The Routledge Handbook of Service User Involvement in Human Services Research and Education

Print publication date:  August  2020
Online publication date:  August  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138360143
eBook ISBN: 9780429433306
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, the authors approach the question ‘Does service user involvement make a difference to professional education?’ with caution. They qualify their answer by saying that it can and should make a difference when it is carried out meaningfully and when it is allowed to have an impact. But, they suggest, on the basis of having been involved in both editing and writing this book, it seems that this is not always the case. They comment upon and make observations about this notion of impact through reflecting back both on the chapters that each author has been involved in editing and on the wider context of attendant issues on the topic. They stress the need to highlight the power within practitioners’ roles and institutional structures and the potential within these to discriminate and oppress. Finally, they conclude by emphasising the continued need to redress the balance of power, by valuing how everyone’s experiential knowledge can challenge discrimination and oppression, in order to avoid the risk having unequal relationships and poor practice.

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