About the Project

This project involved social work academics at the University working with colleagues in the Centre for Research in Families and Relationships (CRFR) and practitioners from six surrounding local authorities. The project was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Scottish Funding Council and the Local Authority Research Council Initiative and ran between November 2009 until January 2011.

Involuntary users of social work include adults with mental health problems and learning disabilities, parents and children in the child protection system and people in the criminal justice system. Current policy in Scotland emphasises the need for increased participation of social work users in shaping services. However, this can be problematic with involuntary clients, who are often resistant to the very idea of social work involvement.

The project sought to explore how social workers might best work with involuntary clients. We reviewed research relevant to the issue of engagement with involuntary clients. A series of knowledge exchange events were organised for social workers from the six local authorities. The project involved practitioner research projects (PRPs) carried out by social workers in these local authorities, with support from academics at the University.

Outputs from the project include two literature reviews and a good practice guide, all of which are available on this website. A number of articles for publication in academic journals are also being completed.


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