A new article by Merav Moshe Grodofsky chair of the School of Social Work at Sapir College was published in Social Work Education, The International Journal.
The article presents an analysis of the process and content of an undergraduate social work research seminar conducted with service users in Israel. The seminar focused on human rights and the experiences of service users as they attempted to access their rights. Analysis of the seminar process revealed three classroom phases, similar to normative group stages of development. Discourse content analysis revealed two major themes. The first focused on role relationships between the students, the service users and the institutions responsible for provision of rights and entitlements. The analysis exposed power imbalances as experienced by the service users in their relationships with social work professionals and the institutions responsible for rights provisions. Moreover, students’ experiences of powerlessness in their roles within those institutions were articulated. The second theme addressed the significance of the joint service user and student platform and the importance of meeting within the academic context. Students and service users expressed their sense that the seminar partnership was a meaningful experience. The analysis sheds light on the process of engaging students and service users in partnership work and on those areas that may contribute to advancing our understanding of the role of service users in social work education.