Title of ArticleEmancipatory practice development in social welfare service evaluation – a worked example
Type of ArticleCritical Reflection
Author/sLesley Deacon
ReferenceVolume 12, Issue 1, Article 8
Date of PublicationMay 2022
KeywordsApplied social sciences, community practitioners, cross-disciplinary, emancipatory practice development, holistic, reflexivity, safe emotional space

Background: People accessing social welfare services are connected by service provision across health and social care, so there is a crossover in the work of practitioners in those fields. It would be beneficial for these professionals to share a language when it comes to evaluating the services they provide.

Aim: This article sought to address the need to improve service evaluation across all health and social science disciplines, which are interconnected through provision of welfare-related services for individuals living in the UK. It aimed to highlight the value of a shared language across organisations that provide these services.

Methods: A worked example is presented, applying emancipatory practice development as a cross-disciplinary framework with community practitioners, who shared views through a non-moderated focus group.

Conclusion: Before any stakeholder views are sought, the first step in sustained transformation is practitioner reflections using reflexivity within a safe physical and emotional space. This enables practitioners first to reflect on whether their practice is authentically person-centred and second to consider how to devise creative methodologies for service evaluation.

Implications for practice:

  • Emancipatory practice development could be beneficial as a cross-disciplinary framework in applied social science contexts to develop a shared approach to service evaluation with healthcare colleagues
  • Before engaging with any stakeholders, practitioners could benefit from engaging in reflexivity to encourage authentic reflection and creative person-centred methodologies
  • Safe emotional and physical spaces are needed for authentic practitioner reflection

This article by Lesley Deacon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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