Exploring models of D/deaf service user involvement in translating quality standards into local practice

Alys Young, Ros Hunt, Hugh McLaughlin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article concerns the participation of service user groups in the translation of social work standards into social work practices. The context is a development and research project about quality standards in adult social services with Deaf and hard of hearing people. The project was set up both to support effective changes in local working practices, as well as to study the processes underlying those changes. Central to these processes had to be the engagement of local service user groups of Deaf or hard of hearing people. Specifically this article analyses three differing styles of engagement between providers and users involved in the project. We have termed these: a co-worker model; a rights-based model; and a politically aware model. It explores the consequences for developmental action of these styles and the extent to which what is achieved, not just how it is achieved can be attributed to the manner of engagement. The role of locally contingent conditions as adequate explanation for different kinds of service user/service provider involvement is also considered. The article contributes to the wider debate of how to turn user rights-in-theory into user rights-in-practice, through an analytical focus on the structuring of provider/user engagement when there is an overt agenda of service improvement in line with pre-established standards.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)25-39
    Number of pages14
    JournalSocial Work and Social Sciences Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Best practice standards
    • BSL
    • Deaf
    • Hard of hearing
    • Service user involvement


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