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Barbara Segatto

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Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

Service Users’ Involvement in Social Work Education: Lessons from an Innovative Experience

TitleService Users’ Involvement in Social Work Education: Lessons from an Innovative Experience
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsAllegri E
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published02/2022
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordsevaluation, expert by experience, service users’ involvement, social work education

The article critically analyses an innovative experience of the Social Work degree course of the University of Piemonte Orientale, Asti, Italy. Since 2013, it has introduced a systematic Service users’ involvement in the training of future social workers. Based on the scientific debate, the first part deals with some issues that make up the theoretical framework of reference useful to define the phenomenon of Service Users’ involvement - considered experts for the experience with services and social workers - in social work education. The second section of the article outlines the conceptual and value basis, the structure of the group called ‘Diversamente esperti’ (Otherwise experts), the method and main activities, as well as the main results achieved, and obstacles encountered. The third part, finally, concerns the evaluation of the experience, detected through an anonymous questionnaire, with 10 closed questions aimed at evaluating the agreement (with values from 1 to 5) on the proposed statements, administered to students and service users and the conclusions that derive from it. The results, based on the analysis of the responses of 100 questionnaires completed in the 2019-2020 academic year, highlight the value of Service users’ involvement in education and some useful suggestions to develop it further in Social Work degree courses.