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Co-production Using Theories And Method In Social Work Practice

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In this essay I will be evaluating co-production in relation to their strengths and limitations. I will explain how this concept promotes relationship-based and person centred in relation to social work practice. Social workers will also empower individuals and let people be independent and self-determined, living the lives they want and having control. Social workers will follow the guide of the PCF, the nine domains: professionalism, values and ethic, diversity and equality, rights, justice and economic wellbeing, knowledge, critical reflection and analysis, skills and intervention, contexts and organisations, professional leadership. The PCF domains will ensure the social workers apply these when working with vulnerable service users and know how they should treat them at all times. (PCF)

‘Person centred approach is to help clients discover their true self, a self which has been hidden from the cleutns awareness’ (sharf,2012) – Barbara In other words, this means is responsible for her own life and decisions she makes with the support from professionals. Relationship based practice importance is recognised in social work practice as effective relations and central to successful outcomes.

Motivational interviewing is a method which is client centred to help them make a positive change to their life. Motivational interview is ‘about arranging conversations so that people talk themselves into change, based on their own values and interests’ (Miller and Rollick ,2013,p.23) In relation to social work they will be involved in a number of setting and aim to create and change. This is from communication skills, interpersonal skills and techniques which is enhanced from motivational interviewing. (Miller,1994) There are three components for the client to change for the better, these are: important to make a change; confidence- their ability to change and readiness, if they are ready to make the change. For example, the client wants to stop consuming a lot of alcohol and knows it is important not to have too much as it can affect their health. However, the client does not have the confidence to change; this is when the social worker will get involved to not focus on the importance of quitting but to promote a client centred approach and work on their confidence to make the change. (pg. 196) Stage of change model…

Cognitive behavioural therapy approach is based on theories of behavioural condition, learning theory and cognitive theory ( Thomlison and Thomlison,2011) . Social workers will use this approach and assess the clients behaviours, thoughts and feelings and how they are affecting the client. The social worker will provide interventions that will assist the client in altering behaviours or through processes to product a positive outcome. (pg.228) The aporahc repies on the classical and operant conditioning models of behavioural therapy and the social learning model of cognitive therapy.

Co-production is working in partnership by sharing power with people using services, carers, families and citizens. SCIE (2015) 5this is a good approach as it encourages individuals to contribute their own resources and giving them control over decisions and resources related with services. This could be passing over responsibilities over decisions and resources. Moreover, this promotes relationship based and person centred social work practice as individuals have a say and a more responsible as they manage more risk in return for greater control over resources and divisions. They have the freedom of speech and this empowers them to make a change to their own lives and services. (john, pg.251).

Co-production is not determined by what the professional or service wants but focuses on the equal contribution of service users and communities. Edgar Cahn’s (2004) those using services have equal power and influence, and full recognition of their assets and expertise as having equal value to those of practitioners. He believes that everyone has assets, strengths and contributions to make and this will make a change to their lives. transformative co-production is about dismantling institutions, changing their cultures and practices and rebalancing power. It means disrupting traditional fixed roles and power relations between professionals and service users and should not be solely determined by the institution or organisation. From the evidence on recovery, mental health service user participation, direct payments and user-defined empowerment, mainstream mental health services may find progressing transformative co-production challenging. This position paper is aimed at everyone with an interest in understanding the challenges for progressing co-production work in mental health services.

Co-production ensures key principles in the Act so individuals can have control over their own their own lives. BASW has developed a framework for service user and care involvement and BASW England has recruited service users and carers to inform the work of their adults policy, practice and education group.

Co-production in mental health is about progress towards ‘the transformation of power and control. This concept requires avoiding what has gone wrong in the past with mental health services. In addition, this requires a process of promoting equality by bringing people together and allowing them to develop an understanding of what need to change. The reason of this framework is to support strategic leads, commissioners and managers responsible for mental health.

BASW (2019) Capabilities Statement for Social Workers working with Adults with Learning Disability

The capabilities statement is framed by the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). This provides guidance for professionals, managers and other stakeholder which relates to social work and social care. The social workers will support individuals with lived experience of learning disabilities. The strength for this is that they will work with children and families and adults social care services, in hospital and community contexts. They make sure tp tackle inequalities and poor services and promote a good experience for individuals with learning disabilities. In addition, strength is that confident and effective social work is essential within multidisciplinary services, they ensure to improve the care and support.

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There are 6 principles of co-production:

  • Recognising people’s assets;
  • Building on peoples capabilities;
  • reciprocal relationships;
  • Encouraging peer support;
  • Blurring boundaries between delivering and receiving services;
  • Facilitating rather than delivering.


Strengths-based approach Practice frameworks are understood as methods for effective professional practice in social work and services (Connolly, 2007; Stanley 2016; 2017). The aim of this approach is to allow improved outcome and/or lives for people. It is about when professionals and service users work together to identify together what is best for them using the resource they have access to. This ensures that the professionals are providing effective support and advice. Another strength for co-production is that it can help to break down the barriers between people who use services and professionals as they will not feel intimated and feel like there is hierarchy or power at the service. As a result co production is there to make everyone feel equal and have their say.

It builds on people’s existing capabilities as they are able to be entitled of making their own decisions. This promotes independence and empowerment.Also co-production includes reciprocity, this is when people getting so,ething in return for doing something for others and mutuality where they have equal relationships between people and organisations. includes working with peer and personal support networks alongside professional networksIt facilitates services by helping organisations to become agents for change rather than just being service providers. roduction/defining-coproduction.asp

Coercion, educating, informing, consultation, engagement, co design

Camden conversations represent building relationships and understanding each other effectively. This is with families which Camden conversation ensures to empower, value and respect them. Professional will be caring, curious and holding peoples life journey in mind, recognising the improve of action. To ensure individuals understand clear, professionals will avoid jargon in conversations. Service users will be invited feedback on practice. Service users will feel more comfortable and open up to the professionals as there is a good bond and trust in the relationship. Social workers will use Camden conversations as a guide to build trusting relationships with service users and ensure they are approachable, trustworthy and they are there to support and listen to them. This involves co-production as the community, professionals and service users get involved and support and help one another which is a strength as they are enforcing positive change to the individuals lives.

Co-production can support the implementation of the Care Act 2014; this act is one of the first pieces of legislation to specifically include the concept of co-production in its statutory guidance. The strengths of co-production are that i can support: cost-effective services; improved user and carer experience of services; increased community capacity; outcome-focused and preventative services and integration.

Individuals who use services and carers have an equal, more meaningful and powerful role in services. They are involved in the planning, development and actual delivery of the service. Power and resources are transferred to the individuals who use the services. Everyone is treated equally according to their needs and is valued which has a positive impact onn everyone. This promotes person centred approach as individuals will get the support they need on a one to one basis with the professionals when they need them. Also it promotes relationship-cased practice as the service users are able to express them and feel comfortable to talk to the professionals at the service.

Furthermore, the Carers Action Plan is implanted in the social care policy and for social worker to deliver the benefits. The Department of Health and Social Cares carers policy team have co produced the CAP to make a positive difference to the individuals lives. This leads a person centred care adapting the practice to reflect on people’s lives. Involving individuals could be implanting things to make things easier for the individual to understand and express their opinions. To help the individuals get involved in making decisions, the professionals may but into place an advocate, independent interpreter and different communication aids e.g. symbols. Social workers should give the individuals time to think about the information, so they are able to think about the information and not to make a rush decisions. (NICE)


On the other hand, individuals may usually lack the knowledge, skills, experience. This will make it difficult for them to participate in co-production as they do not understand clearly. (Teunissen, Visse, & Abma, 2015). Also they may not want to the physical and psychological weaknesses (Arnetz, Winblad, Arnetz, & Höglund, 2008).

“…… it is a slow process and sadly whatever the politics of governments; whether they favour state or market, too often for all the rhetoric, other people still make key decisions about us and our lives, whether we are talking about the NHS, welfare reform or the education system. Peter Beresford (‘Together we can change the rules to make the economy work for everyone’. Retrieved 19 February 2019) This statement suggests that even though co production is put into pace to empower individuals and give them the ability to make decisions for themselves, services do not always apply this and make their decisions for the service users. This will not promote the person centred and relationship based social work practice, as individuals are not valued and respected of what they want for their own lives. It makes additional demands of people who rely on services It is a cover for the withdrawal of services. Existing structures and frameworks work against, not with, co-production


To conclude, co production is an important approach to apply in social work practice as it includes the community, people work and access the service to get involved in individuals lives to make a positive change. This concept also promotes person-centred and relationship based approach as social workers are valuing and respecting the individual and ensuring they involved in their care plan and what they want in their life, it will make them feel empowered and have control over their lives. Social workers will need to consider how to communicate using Camden conversations, motivational interview and cognitive approach. This will make it easier for both professional and service user to communicate effectively and have a good relationship.

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Co-production Using Theories And Method In Social Work Practice. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 2, 2023, from
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