Social workers and medical practitioners, particularly those in general practice, provide services for individuals who experience social exclusion. Access to medical, health and social care services has been identified as problematic for refugees and asylum seekers, reflecting their marginalised status within society. It is widely accepted that multi-agency responses and working together are key requirements in improving access to services and promoting social inclusion; however, achieving this across professional and agency boundaries often remains challenging. Joint planning and training have been suggested as being important in improving communication, leading to more flexible and creative services. This paper describes the genesis and implementation of a series of innovative inter-professional workshops for medical and social work students, focussing specifically on marginalised groups. Learning and teaching input was developed by, and came from, service users and qualified medical, health and social work practitioners. The paper focuses particularly on the sessions relating to refugees and asylum seekers. The content and structure of the sessions are discussed and students' responses are reported. The implications for future inter-professional learning and practice in relation to socially excluded groups are highlighted.
Bibliographical note(c) 2009 The Board of Social Work Education
- social exclusion
- asylum seekers
- inter-professional learning