Speed Mentoring in Teaching and Learning: Young people with experience of the care system mentor social work students

Kate Leonard, Jill Yates

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The value of listening and talking to young people with experience of the care system has been recognised as a vital and positive contribution to social work students’ learning. A model of co-production was used to develop a series of speed mentoring events whereby social work students placed in local authority children and family settings were mentored by young people with experience of the care system. This tentative review of this small scale project shares the authors critical reflections on the value and reliability of this model, for evaluating the outcomes of co-productive mentoring relationships between young people and social work students. The reversal of the power dynamic between student and service user contributed to the unsettling of assumptions about each other and empathy for each other’s role. The student authors reflect on learning about the child’s experience that have influenced their practice. The mentor authors welcomed the opportunity to participate in the development of 'young people friendly' social workers. Suggestions are made as to how this model could be developed to contribute to a more systematic approach to the role of service users in mentoring, advising and contributing to the supervision process of students and social workers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-681
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number6
Early online date26 May 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 May 2015

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