Faculty perceptions of service user involvement in human services education

Authored by: Nafees Alam

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:

10.4324/9780429433306-23

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Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory study was to establish the state of US social work faculty perceptions on service user involvement in social work education. Despite the trademark of the profession being service user-oriented, United States’ social work curricula lacks service user involvement in the education of social workers. This was a cross-sectional exploratory study using a questionnaire involving 404 social work faculty across the United States. The majority of demographic variables show no statistical significance toward service user involvement in social work education. However, experience teaching human behavior and the social environment shows a statistically significant (p=0.005) negative influence on favoring service user involvement in social work education, while teaching content pertaining to client consumer movement shows a statistically significant (p=0.001) positive influence on favoring service user involvement in social work education. There was a statistically significant (p=0.030) relationship between faculty favoring service user empowerment and consumerism and service user involvement in social work education. There was also a statistically significant (p=0.000) relationship between faculty favoring service user involvement in social work organizations and service user involvement in social work education. Overall, findings show that sampled social work faculty are split over service user involvement in social work education (mean composite score percentage of 57.360%), while they are more in favor of service user involvement in social work organizations (mean composite score percentage of 69.405%) and even more in favor of service user empowerment and consumerism (mean composite score percentage of 76.322%). More research is needed to find why teaching human behavior and the social environment decreases attitudes toward service user involvement in social work education but teaching content pertaining to client consumer movement increases attitudes toward service user involvement in social work education.

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