1.1 Themes shaping practice
There are five main themes running through this course. These themes, though not uncontested or fixed, are based on core principles and ideas that shape practice in the field of social care and social work in the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors. They are:
Empowerment and anti-oppressive practice
Below you will see definitions of these themes. Before you look at these, however, you are going to take some time to consider what these themes might mean to different people.
Activity 1 Themes of the course
Fill in the blank sections of the table below with what you think each idea means to practitioners and what you think it might mean to a service user. Some examples have been given to get you going. (Note that you can either print the page off to do this or simply write your answers on a piece of paper.)
|Theme||What it might mean to practitioners||What it might mean to a service user|
|Partnership||Including service users in decision-making processes; working with professionals from other agencies|
|Empowerment and anti-oppressive practice||Enabling me to take action to improve the quality of my life|
|Accountability||Being able to explain and justify decisions to both managers and service users|
|Valuing diversity||Being committed to countering discrimination|
While undertaking this activity you may have realised that there could be different ways of thinking about each of these themes, and these may depend on whether you are a worker in a social care setting or a service user. We provide some discussion and some definitions below to help you understand more fully the practice implications for each one.
The definitions of the course themes in the following subsections are to help you to start thinking about what they mean for practice. As you work through the course you will develop a keener understanding of their role and their centrality to professional practice in the field of social work and social care.