The Care and Protection of Children and Families - SAPO5310

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2022 to 2023.


In broad terms, this module explore the workings of child social care and relationships between children, families and the state. This includes a range of interventions and service provision – covering the areas of family support, child protection and out-of-home care for looked after children. In social scientific terms, the focus is on the dynamic social construction of problems such as child abuse or neglect, their intersection with social divisions and the shaping of state and civil society responses.

The following is an indicative list of topics:
• Social Work & Social Care for Children
• Supporting Families and Children in Need
• Child Protection – An Historical Overview
• What is Child Maltreatment? Contemporary Debates
• (Re)Discovering Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation
• Understanding Child Maltreatment: private troubles and public issues
• The State as Parent: Looked After Children and Leaving Care
• Adoption: Private Lives and Public Policy
• Interethnic and International Adoption
• Child Welfare and Disabled Children


Contact hours

The module will be taught by lectures, seminars and private study.
Total Contact Hours: 22
Private Study Hours: 128


SA531 contributes particularly to Health and Social Care and Social Policy, but more broadly to programmes of study across the School. It is also available as a wild course for students outside the School who have a particular interest in childhood.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Exam – 2 hours: 50%
Essay – 2,500 words: 35%
Seminar Participation Mark: 15%

Reassessment methods
100% Coursework

Indicative reading

Davies, M. (ed) (2012) Social Work with Children and Families, Basingstoke: Palgrave
Frost, N. & Parton, N. (2009) Understanding Children's Social Care: Politics, Policy and Practice, London: Sage
Kirton, D. (2009) Child Social Work Policy and Practice, London: Sage
Rogowski, S. (2013) Critical Social Work with Children and Families, Bristol: Policy Press
Stein, M. (2009) Quality Matters in Children's services : messages from research, London: Jessica Kingsley
Holland, S. (2011) Child and Family Assessment in Social Work Practice. London: Sage
Jowitt, M. and O'Loughlin, S. (2012) Social Work with Children and Families (3rd edn) Exeter: Learning Matters

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Demonstrate understanding of the key policy and practice issues associated with family support, child protection, and substitute (family) care, including adoption
8.2 Demonstrate familiarity with competing perspectives relating to child care – their differing interpretations of, and emphases upon; the rights of children's and families, and the role of the state – and their influence on policy and practice
8.3 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the legal framework within which social care services for children and families are delivered
8.4 Demonstrate a critical appreciation of 'evidence-based practice' in relation to work with children and families

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Present arguments in writing through exams and essay writing, and orally through delivering and responding to seminar discussion
9.2 Critically analyse and utilise research and statistical data
9.3 Synthesise knowledge across a range of disciplinary fields within the social sciences


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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