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Abstract

This paper presents four perspectives of an innovative organisation which was set up in 2001 to respond to the unmet needs of refugees and asylum seekers in the far south west of England. Social Work students were supported to undertake one of their assessed practice placements working with families referred by the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS) teacher and the local Social Services referral co-ordinator. The organisation has grown from a small 'virtual ' organisation , staffed only by students, to a registered charity employing health and social care staff who supervise students from increasingly diverse professions to learn through service provision. The perspectives of a service user, a student and the manager are presented to illustrate the philosophy, principles and practice of the agency. Consideration is given to the relationship of academic institutions to health and social care provision and practice. The intention here is to promote debate about the potential of academic institutions to stimulate change through action as well as teaching and research .

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