This programme has been endorsed by TCSW as having met the social work professional quality criteria.
SWK429 Social Work with Children and Families
Social work with children and families in the UK is consistently the subject of political and professional controversy as exemplified by the recent publication and recommendations of the Munro Review. Some argue that the work is both over-proceduralised and over-intrusive (too much intervention takes place and procedures leave little to professional discretion), while others claim that too little is done too late, leading to avoidable significant harm and deaths of children. On completion of the course, students will have an understanding of these contradictory views in the light of recent research findings and relevant practice theories. You will also gain skills in evidence appraisal, assessment and professional judgement alongside knowledge of relevant aspects of the law, policy and procedures.
The syllabus is designed to provide a theoretically informed holistic and systemic understanding of social work with children and families and to provide foundational legal, policy and practice knowledge to prepare students to work critically and reflexively with the likelihood of significant harm and children's needs. Content will focus on five key areas of practice and these will be integrated throughout the course:
1. Assessment - including models of assessment; theoretical foundations; regulatory frameworks; policy and procedures; critical reflection on the interpersonal processes involved in assessment; data choice and gathering; data analysis and interpretation; consent, and the impact of relationship with voluntary and involuntary service users; understanding and assessing parenting capacity, the needs of the child and social and environmental factors; critically analysing and applying evidence to inform and support judgment.
2. Legal and Policy Frameworks; including civil and criminal law; primary and secondary legislation, policy and practice guidance, and case law, court structure, personnel and processes, including special measures for certain witnesses, accessing legal advice and representation, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights; the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child; Complaints procedures, judicial review and the Local Government Ombudsman; Data protection, confidentiality and information sharing; Inspection of services by OFSTED; Role of Local Safeguarding Children Boards and the Children Act, 2004; the Children Act, 1989; the Adoption & Children Act, 2002; law relating to domestic violence.
3. Human growth and Development; including how development is an interaction between heredity, environment and social determinants; promoting rights, justice and wellbeing and challenging inequalities within the life course; key principles of life course development; critical periods, transition; change and continuity; strengths, resources and resilience; adversity, vulnerability, risk and accumulation of risk.
The co-produced development of children; how children mature and develop; physical developmental; cognitive development and developmental psychology (e.g. theories of learning); language acquisition; moral development; psycho-social theories of personality development, attachment and separation. Critical perspectives on developmental psychology e.g. cross-cultural differences in attachment, cognition and communication; social constructions of childhood. The implications of impairment and disability on childhood, adolescence, parenthood and a critical perspective on normative models of development.
Understanding the impact of adverse environments (e.g. domestic violence, marginalisation through poverty and custody) on children and young people’s development to inform assessment.
4. Parenting & Families; including basic care (ensuring security and safety, emotional warmth, stimulation, guidance, boundary setting, stability); understanding the family as a context for socialisation and development; parenting and families under pressure – socioeconomic, structural, cultural; styles of child-rearing – permissive, authoritarian, disengaged, uninvolved and authoritative; good enough parenting; attachment and assessing adult attachments; Impact on children of inadequate parenting; parental mental health and wellbeing; parental substance misuse; parental physical/intellectual impairment; parental ill-health including terminal illness; critical appraisal of evidence base for therapeutic work with children and families: systemic, cognitive and behavioural therapies.
5. Safeguarding: including forms of harm in order to identify sexual/physical/emotional/neglect/violence against the person; theoretical constructions and conceptualisations: social constructionist and essentialist; social/sociological (environmental deprivation/class/gender) and psychological perspectives; cycles of vulnerability; feminist perspectives; the socio-ecological conceptual framework; hidden/underreported/unacknowledged forms of harm, e.g. internet abuse, financial abuse; Inter- and intra-familial violence; ethnicity and cultural relativism; honour-related abuse; learning from serious case reviews; the application of learning, including the role of practical reasoning; the identification and assessment of significant harm; understanding resilience and safety in context; working with complexity, fear and uncertainty.
6. Meeting the needs of children and families: prevention, early intervention and early help, family support; best interests decisions; removal, reunification, rehabilitation; alternative care provision and contact; authoritatively and supportively addressing risk and vulnerability to promote change; becoming looked after and adoption.
Subject Specific Learning outcomes
All learning outcomes on qualifying programmes are considered in conjunction with The College of Social Work Curriculum Guides Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency for Social Work, the Professional Capabilities Framework statements for qualifying level and the QAA Benchmarking Statement for Social Work. A mapping document that details where the programme addresses the HCPC standards of proficiency and the Professional Capabilities Framework is available on the departmental website. You will also find links to The College of Social Work curriculum guides and to the QAA Benchmarking Statement for Social Work.
General Learning Outcomes
Credit rating: 15.00
Credit rating: 15.00
Total learning hours 150
Teaching methods: Weekly lectures, small group exercises, skills development sessions
Students are required to produce an assignment for this course of 2,500 words. Students must choose an assignment question from the list provided. Students are also required to sit a 1.5 hour examination paper at the end of the Lent term (2014) that specifically tests students’ knowledge of the law component of this course.
The assessment weighting is 67:33 in favour of the assignment.
Submitting coursework: electronic and paper copies
Timing and method of formative and assessment feedback to students
Essays are normally returned within 4 weeks of submission and will be accompanied by detailed feedback.
Select Bibliography - indicative reading and resources
Beck, U (1992) Risk society: Towards a new modernity. London: Sage.
Beckett, C. and Taylor H. (2010) Human Growth and Development (2nd edition). London, Sage.
Braye, S and Preston-Shoot, M (2007) Law and social work – e-learning resources. SCIE, London. http://www.scie.org.uk/publications/elearning/index.asp
Braye, S and Preston-Shoot, M (2010) Practising social work law (3rd ed). Palgrave, Basingstoke.
Brayne, H and Carr, H (2010) Law for social workers (11th ed). Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Broadhurst, K., Grover, C., Jamieson, J. (2009) Critical Perspectives on Safeguarding Children. Wiley- Blackwell http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470682329.html
Broadhurst, K., Fish, S., Munro, E., & White, S. (2011) Ten Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them, NSPCC Inform from www.nspcc.org.uk.inform/publication/downloads/tenpitfalls_wdf48122.pdf
Brophy, J. (2006), Care proceedings under the Children Act 1989: A Research Review, Research Series/06, London, Department for Constitutional Affairs
Clarke, C. (2007) Professional Responsibility, Misconduct and Practical Reason, Ethics and Social Welfare, 1(1) pp56-75.
Daniel, B., Wassell, S. and Gilligan, R. (2010) Child Development for Child Care and Protection Workers. (2nd ed) London Jessica Kingsley.
DCSF (2008) Research Report RR129: Brandon, M., Bailey, S., Belderson, P., Gardner, R., Sidebotham, P., Dodsworth, J., Warren, C. and Black, J.: Understanding Serious Case Reviews and Their Impact: A Biennial Analysis of Serious Case Reviews 2005–07. HMSO: London.
DfE (2011): The Munro Review of Child Protection: Final Report – a child centred-system, HMSO. London.
Featherstone, B, Hooper, C.A. & Scourfield J. Taylor, J. (2010) Gender and Child welfare in Society, Wiley.
Fook, J (2012) Social work: A critical approach to practice, 2nd edition. London: Sage.
Garrett, P.M. (2009) ‘Transforming’ Children’s Services? Social Work, Neoliberalism and the ‘Modern’ World. Maidenhead: Open University Press
Gill, O. & Jack, G. (2007) The Child and Family in Context: Developing Ecological Practice in Disadvantaged Communities. Lyme Regis: Russell House
Gillies, V. (2010) Is poor parenting a class issue? Contextualising anti-social behaviour and family life, Is parenting a class issue?, London, Family and Parenting Institute, (Chapter)
Golombok, S. (2000) Parenting: What Really Counts? London: Routledge.
Holland, S. (2011) 2nd ed, Child and Family Assessment in Social Work Practice, London, Sage.
Howarth, J. (ed) (2010) The Child’s world: The comprehensive guide to assessing children in need (2nd edition). London, Jessica Kingsley.
Howe, D. Attachment: implications for assessing children’s needs and parent capacity, pp. 184–198.
Heller, T. and Harris, S. (2012) Disability Through the Life Course, The Sage reference series on Disability: Key Issues and Future Directions. London, Sage.
Hockey, J. (2003) Social Identities across the life course. Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan.
Hothersall, S and Maas-Lowit, M (eds) (2010) Need, risk and protection in social work practice. Exeter: Learning Matters.
Lindon, J. (2010) Understanding Child Development: Linking Theory and Practice. London, Hodder Arnold.
Martin, R (2009) Social work assessment. Exeter: Learning Matters.
Milner, J and O’Byrne, P (2009) Assessment in Social Work, 3rd edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan.
Munro, E. (2008): Effective Child Protection (2nd edition). Sage: London.
Parker, J and Bradley, G (2010) 3rd edition Social work practice: Assessment, planning, intervention and review,.Exeter: Learning Matters.
Prior, V. and Glaser, D (2006) Understanding attachment and attachment disorders. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Robinson, L. (2007) Cross-cultural child development for social workers. Basingstoke, Palgrave.
Sheridan, M.D. (2007) From birth to five years: children’s developmental progress. London, Routledge.
SCIE eLearning Resources: Interprofessional and inter-agency collaboration (IPIAC), Law and Social Work, Parental mental health and families, mental capacity: http://www.scie.org.uk/publications/elearning/index.asp
Social work toolkit (2012) http://www.socialworktoolkit.com/assessment_and_intervention/tools_assessment_intervention Palgrave/Macmillan.
SWAP Box. Search keywords, e.g. child abuse/protection/adult care/domestic violence, human growth and development; life course development; life span. http://www.swapbox.ac.uk
Walker, S, and Beckett, C (2011) Social work assessment and intervention, 2nd edition. Lyme Regis: Russell House Publishing, Ltd.
Wattam, C. (1993) Making a Case in Child Protection, Harlow, Longman
Wattam, C. and Parton, N. (eds) (1999), Child Sexual Abuse: Responding to the Experiences of Children. Chichester: Wiley.
Webb, S (2006) Social Work in a risk society. Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan
Whittington, C (2007) Assessment in social work: A guide for learning and teaching. SCIE Guide 18 http://www.scie.org.uk/publications/guides/guide18/files/guide18.pdf
www.bbc.co.uk/child in our time/ website following children from birth onwards
This programme has been endorsed by TCSW as having met the social work professional quality criteria.
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