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Whose Shoes? Exploring new perspectives on more citizen-centered social care


Sarah Wigley of, Adult Social Care in Leicestershire County Council, indicated that participants felt that the use of Whose Shoes? in the day’s training helped them to understand major issues that affect services from different perspectives – particularly from the service user’s point of view. The game’s inclusive approach enabled all of the participants to have an equal say. The department considered it to be a very useful tool in setting the scene for the agenda, stimulating debate, enabling them to identify and address concerns and helping with action planning

Social care staff felt that the training had helped them to realise that aspects of how they currently work with service users could block the personalisation process. Importantly staff members felt the collaborative forward thinking approach  allowed them to question their own systems and work towards improving their efficiency.  An example of this came from a card stating ‘As social workers, we are able to share problems and extend examples of good practice’. This caused the participants to question whether they had adequate peer support networks for social workers. To ensure that they do, regular meetings are now held to ensure the agenda is properly implemented.

Staff felt the training helped them to visualise the benefits to be gained from citizen-centred services - critical in ensuring their buy-in to make the necessary transformation. The overwhelmingly positive feedback indicated that people now understood that it is everyone’s responsibility to work towards ensuring that service users’ perspectives and inputs are constantly incorporated in their work.


Leicestershire County Council's engagement process has enabled citizens to make the reality of the issues that affect their quality of life known to other participants in the social care process. This helps them feel like they are treated equally, but also helps them to be a part of refining services to being more realistic and tailored to their needs. Watch this video below with Kären Kidd, chair of the Force 4 Change group, on what steps Leicestershire County Council need to take and to see the positive impact that working with the Whose Shoes? tool can have. 

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Gill Phillips

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Gill Phillips wrote this case study for Governance International on 27 February 2012.

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