What challenges does mental health service user group face in society and how can we promote ethic

Key guidance points:

– Choose a service user or carer group. Examples could include mental health, looked after children, substance misuse, young carers, etc.

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– Make the choice of focus early on in the module, to allow time for research of relevant material and preparation of the presentation.

– Highlight the ways in which values, ethics, anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice can have a direct effect on people’s lives and the service they receive.

Make clear links to the BASW Code of Ethics and the Social Work England Professional standards

presentation Assignment guidance

You will participate in preparing and presenting a 35-minute seminar presentation as an individual or in a group of six (maximum).


Discuss the relevance of values, ethics and issues of diversity in social work practice when working with a particular service user or carer group.


– Choose a service user or carer group. Examples could include mental health, looked after children, substance misuse, young carers, etc. This could relate to your own interests, previous personal or professional experience or an area of practice that you do not know much about and would like to explore.

– Highlight the ways in which values, ethics, anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice can have a direct effect on people’s lives and the service they receive.

Module learning Outcomes

2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of values and social ethics, including awareness of their own values, prejudices, ethical dilemmas and conflicts of interest and the implications of these on their practice.

3. Recognise the powerful links between intra-personal and inter-personal factors and the wider social, legal, economic political and cultural context of people’s lives.

4. Understand the impact of injustice, social inequalities and oppressive social relations.

5. Apply ethical principles and practices critically in planning, problem-solving and decision-making activities, taking into account the views of participants, theoretical concepts, research evidence, legislation and organisational policies and procedures.

6. Have an understanding of the role and function of the Health and Care Professions Council who provide guidance on conduct and ethics for students.

Generic learning outcomes:

1. Demonstrate basic skills with regard to gathering, organizing, evaluating and synthesizing information in a clear and coherent manner.

2. Demonstrate skills in working effectively with others.

Recommended structure:

– Introduce the presentation- give a brief outline of what the presentation will include

– Describe/Define the service user or carer group that you want to focus on. Please be aware of the way in which descriptions and definitions can be creating negative labels for people, so show awareness of the contested nature of any firm definition. For example, if discussing disability, you can mention the legal definition according to the Equality Act, but also how this can be narrow and limiting for people. Please do not use internet random definitions of issues that are much more complex- go to academic literature.

– Briefly outline some of the challenges faced by people in the service user or carer group that you are referring to. This could relate to issues of diversity and how society treats people, i.e. discrimination, negative stereotyping, access to resources, barriers. One way to do this would be to draw from literature that captures the views of service users or carers directly (i.e. academic articles based on interviews, or other service user-generated material online). Also, make use of sources from the module reading list around discrimination, diversity etc.

– What is the importance of social work values and ethics when working with this service user or carer group? You can highlight the growing awareness of the challenges faced by people and how social work values and ethics can inform our practice. To do this you can:

o Make reference to anti-discriminatory practice and anti-oppressive practice (define what they are, how they came about and how they relate to direct practice).

o Make reference to the BASW Code of Ethics, SWE professional standards and the PCF.

o Make reference to service user and carer perspectives on ethical social work (drawn from the literature)

o You can also touch upon ethical issues, problems and dilemmas that can come up in practice and show an awareness of social work as a moral activity.

Adopting a critical approach to the social work role and practice would be very welcomed- is social work always able to achieve the best outcomes?

– Have a short conclusion at the end.

You might not have the time to do all this, but this recommended structure can give you a clearer idea as to what we are looking for. As a group or individual, you will need to decide how best to structure your presentation, what to include and how to present it.

Some general tips:

· Read around your chosen area and around the topics covered by the module. Please do not just rely on the lecturer’s powerpoint slides- there needs to be evidence of engaging with the reading list and relevant literature around Ethics, Values and Diversity topics.

· Reference correctly- consult the Harvard referencing guide (a copy can be found on Moodle). Make sure that you acknowledge that you are using other authors’ work, as presenting it as your own amounts to plagiarism.

· Please do not go out of your way to collect any added data/information. Most importantly, do not approach service users or professionals for interviews/information, as some of that activity could require formal ethical approval by the University Ethics committee. Base your presentation on academic literature- the key point here is to get you to read around the topic! If you are interested in testimonies by service users or professionals, such resources can be found in the public arena (i.e. some SCIE resources).

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