The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership supports a wide range of activities to enhance and improve engagement with those with people with lived experience.
The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership (WMSWTP) supports a wide range of activities to enhance and improve engagement with those with lived experience of social work, including the facilitation of a People with Lived Experience (PWLE) Advisory Group. Bringing together PWLE, and representatives from Local Authorities, Trusts, and Higher Education Institutes to discuss and promote co-production, participation, and the involvement of PWLE in social work education and practice across the partnership.
Lived Experience Videos
Our participation groups discussed areas they are passionate about, including:
The role of participation in social work
What is excellence in social work
Relationships in social work
The impact of labels and language.
Mend the Gap
The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership have been exploring ways to involve those with lived experience in social work education and practice.
A visit to another partnership introduced the Mend the Gap approach, an innovative programme to explore the gaps between experts by experience, policy, practitioners and academia.
Mend the Gap is an egalitarian, inclusive approach and analytical tool that helps social work practitioners, educators, students, researchers, policy makers and people with lived experience to identify, critically reflect on and determine what increases, maintains or mends gaps between each other – especially between people with lived experience and others.
The Partnership commissioned five Mend the Gap pilot projects across the West Midlands region. The pilots focused on identifying, exploring, reflecting on and discussing the gaps between each other. The pilot project supported the participants to explore potential changes and new ideas which remove or reduce the gaps.
Bringing Young People's Voices into Social Work Qualifying and Post-Qualifying Courses
By Dr Peter Unwin, Principal Lecturer in Social Work, University of Worcester.
In 2022 a project was formed in response to additional funding from the Department for Education to explore the best ways of establishing safe, ethical and robust ways to involve children and young people meaningfully in the education of future practitioners and to establish the facts around ethics / competencies /remuneration / insurance and liabilities. We gained ethical approval from the University of Worcester. and ensured information pertaining to the participation of children and young People was age appropriate. The results of this project produced a poster which can be downloaded below.