Social Work Practice in a Multi Agency Context - SO672

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
Medway Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR B Ng'andu


Unit level: Higher





This module will engage students’ understanding of the legal, social and political context for multi agency working with an emphasis on current national initiatives and the rationale for them. Students will critically analyse the professional and practical barriers to partnership working and how these might be minimised. Models for team work in social care and their relevance to multi disciplinary settings will be outlined. Exploration of systems theory and psychodynamic models as explanatory frameworks will also be a feature. Examples of multi disciplinary teams in practice – i.e. Sure Start, Youth Offending, Mental Health etc. will enable students to apply these theoretical frameworks effectively.

The module will include a focus on skills in multi–disciplinary working, including negotiating across professional boundaries and addressing issues of power and inequality. The module will explain the links between national initiatives to improved services and outcomes for users.

Method of assessment

The module will be assessed by two equally weighted pieces of course work:

A group project requiring students to work in small teams to investigate, research and develop an area of multi disciplinary activity relevant to social care. The group will present their work verbally and in writing (weighted at 50%). This task will enable students to meet learning outcomes.
This presentation will be of 30 minutes duration and students will produce a written summary of the presentation of 1000 words (the two activities will be marked as one assessment).

A 2,500 word individual analysis of the learning that has emerged from the project, applying appropriate theoretical and legal/policy learning to multi disciplinary and team working (weighted at 50%). This task will enable students to meet learning outcomes.

Indicative reading

Anning, A, Cottrell, D,Frost, N, Green, J & Robinson, M. (2010) Developing Multi-Professional Teamwork for Integrated Children’s Services, Maidenhead: Open University Press
Bailey, D, (2012). Interdisciplinary working in mental health, Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan
Baker ,K & Sutherland, A (2009). Multi- Agency Public Protection Arrangements and Youth Justice, Bristol: Policy Press
Crawford, K, (2011) Interprofessional Collaboration in Social Work Practice, London: Sage
Gasper, M, (2010). Multi-agency Working in the Early Years. London: Sage
Morris,K. (2008) Social work and multi-agency working, Bristol: Policy Press
Quninney A (2010) Collaborative Social Work Practice Learning 2nd Ed, Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd.
Stone, B & Rixon, A, (2008). Towards Integrated Working. In Foley, P & Rixon, A (Eds) Changing Childrens Services –working and learning Together, Milton Keynes: Open University Press
Taylor, I (2012) Multi-professional Teams and the Learning Organization in Gould N & Baldwin M (Eds) Social Work, Critical Reflection and the Learning Organization, Aldershot: Ashgate

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the students will be able to:

11.1 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the relationship between agency policies, legal requirements and professional boundaries in shaping the nature of services in a multi agency practice context

11.2 Demonstrate knowledge of and reflect on the respective responsibilities of social welfare agencies and social care professionals, taking into account national practice and research

11.3 Identify the values, factors and processes that may hinder or facilitate collaboration and interagency activity

11.4 Critically understand and evaluate established models of team working and related systems

11.5 Apply, reflect on and evaluate theoretical models for collaboration at individual, inter professional and multi agency levels

11.6 Analyse the significance of effective partnership working for service users in achieving appropriate care and support and identify areas where this may be problematic

11.7 Identify the specific social work role and responsibilities and be able to articulate them in a multi agency context

11.8 Apply and evaluate skills for establishing effective relationships, working co-operatively with others, managing conflict and liaising and negotiating across organisational and professional boundaries

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