An examination of the relationship between communication skills training and service user inclusion and empowerment in social work education

Campbell, Graham (2010) An examination of the relationship between communication skills training and service user inclusion and empowerment in social work education. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This thesis analyses the relationship between communication skills training and service user inclusion and empowerment in social work education. The effective use of communication skills in social work has been documented as crucial to good practice. The increased participation of service users in designing and assessing at every stage of the social work degree has been a core requirement of the qualification since 2003. Key issues over how communication skills were being taught and assessed were notably lacking in the literature, as was their sustainability and transferability post qualifying. The nursing profession has seen itself trying to establish parity with other professional roles by analysing their methods to gain critical insights and deliver a better, more user focused, inter-personal skills whilst social work has been concentrated on social action skills. The rise of bureaucratic and managerialist ways of working in contemporary practice finds itself at odds with social work values. The advent of New Labour in 1997 brought to the fore third way participation agendas which sought to engage with socially excluded groups via different routes and systems. The development of skills laboratories has shown that the utilisation of new methodologies can yield impressive results which empower students and service users to develop relationships which embed learning in more interactive ways. Arguably this has been set against the canvass of hegemonous policies agendas which have sought to creatively engage with marginalised groups. The uncritical over reliance on counselling and psychological theory in social work is evidenced as pervasive and underpinning most communication skills teaching. The lack of a definitive communication theory to be utilised within social work education and assessments has been illustrated. The proposal of a new, profession specific, unified, social work communication theory model has been postulated for consideration.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Science > School of Health Sciences and Social Work
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:15
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/782

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