The Nordic-Baltic Doctoral Network in Social Work is organizing its annual summer school, which will take place from 14th to 18th of August 2017 in Vilnius university Faculty of Philosophy (Lithuania).
This Summer School aims to bring together PhD candidates in social work from Nordic and Baltic countries for five days of intensive lectures and discussions of different perspectives on user involvement and ethics in social work research. We recognise the value of knowledge that can be gained from ”lived experience” of social problems and specifically service user or client experience of contact with social work and the helping professions, for the development of relevant and effective support systems and services. Researchers are challenged by this awareness to adapt and develop ethical research practices, which would be sensitive to and inclusive of a user perspective and the users themselves. Various levels of influence in the research process will be discussed, from methods that seek to explore a user perspective, to those that include users in the collection and dissemination of data and results, and to the challenge and ethical issues of involving users in the identification and development of the actual questions to be researched. Experiences with user panels, with action research methods and with supporting users in the development of research skills and a career in research will all be problematized and discussed during the Summer School. Special attention will be paid to tensions that may arise when attempting to balance experiential and scientific knowledge and ethical questions that may present themselves when working directly with users and a focus on user influence.
The summer school is hosted by Vilnius University and Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania) in collaboration with Umeå University (Sweden).