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Issues » 2018/3 - Critical Perspectives in Social Work »

Magda Frišaufová, Markéta Geregová

Shock and Refreshment’: Experts Participation – Service Users in University Social Work Education


OBJECTIVES: The article answers research question: “What are the benefits and limits of service users’ involvement in university education identified by all participants?” The authors build on their own experience with involving to the university lectures people, who have experience with long term drug use and who were also clients of social work services. THEORETICAL BASE: During the lectures as well as in this article, the authors refer to these people as to experts, which points to such approach in which the experience, opinions and attitudes of drug users are considered as important source of knowledge in social work. The theoretical framework is grounded in critical social work and participatory approaches. METHODS: Methodology is anchored in the participatory action research. OUTCOMES: The most important outcomes are concerning especially the role of experts, breaking the stereotypes, new sources of knowledge or evaluating the participation level and empowerment. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: Based on the research outcomes, the authors present also practical recommendations for service users’ involvement in education.


critical social work, participation, service users, university education

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