Social Work with Children and Families - SO716

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
Medway Spring
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5) MRS EA Kelly







This module will outline the principles underpinning the assessment of children in need (including children with disabilities) and their families. The legal and policy framework within which social work in children’s services operates will be addressed, including its core principles such as working in partnership with parents. The relationship between child protection and family support; outcomes, best practice and early intervention will be examined.
Working with Children in Care as another core area of practice will be outlined, including fostering and adoption issues and aftercare.
Key messages from research and theory in relation to interventions and outcomes, along with key messages from Inquiry reports, serious case reviews and government commissioned reports will form part of the curriculum. Here, multi-disciplinary and multi-agency working will feature as a core theme.
The identification of child abuse and assessment of significant harm, including the assessment of risk, thresholds, child protection investigations, changing practice and policy trends and the different ways in which children might be subject to neglect and abuse will be examined. Here, procedural intervention in child protection and safeguarding work; developing critical analysis and professional judgement will be discussed in depth.

Method of assessment

The assessment for this module is 100% coursework based comprising the three following elements:

i) A 2000 word social work ‘assessment’ of a comprehensive case scenario will be given to students. This assignment will require students to process information in line with current social work practice models and guidance. Students will be expected to draw on the key domains of social work assessment and to consider issues in relation to risk. The mark for this assignment will contribute 40% towards the overall mark for the module.
ii) A 2000 word critical analysis of the above social work assessment demonstrating an understanding of the social work role in child protection and safeguarding. Referring to the completed 'initial (social work) assessment,' students will be required to make links with key practice, policy, theoretical, professional values and research issues, and reflect on a range of outcomes. The mark for this assignment will contribute 40% towards the overall mark for the module.
iii) A 2 hour in-class seen law test will require students to apply key aspects of the law to a case scenario. The mark for this assignment will contribute 20% towards the overall mark for the module.

Indicative reading

Daniel, B., Wassel, S. and Gilligan, R. (2010) Child Development for Child Care and Protection Workers: Jessica Kingsley Publisher
Holland, S (2011) Child and Family Assessment in Social Work Practice: Sage
Howarth, J (2009) The Child’s World: The Comprehensive Guide to Assessing Children in Need 2nd ed: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Howe, D (2005) Child Abuse and Neglect: Attachment, Development and Intervention: Macmillan Press
Jowitt, M and O’Loughlin, S (2012) 3rd Ed Social Work with Children and Families: Learning Matters
Kirton, D (2000) ‘Race’ ethnicity and adoption: Open University Press
Lefevre, M (2010) Communicating with Children and Young People: The Policy Press
Munro, E (2008) Effective child protection 2nd Ed: Sage
Munro, E (2011) The Munro review of child protection: Final Report. A child centred system: HMSO

Robb, M and Thomson, R (2010) Critical Practice with Children and Young People: The Policy Press
Williams, J (2008) Child Law for Social Work: Sage

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

By successfully completing this module students will:

11.1 Understand the impact of injustice, socio economic factors, social inequalities and oppressive social relations on the lives of children and families
11.2 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the range of roles and service settings in which children and families social workers are employed and how support is delivered across the continuum of social need, with a focus on outcomes, best practice and early intervention
11.3 Demonstrate an understanding of, and ability to apply the main legal and professional responsibilities of a social worker with children and families and the key systems and guidance in use
11.4 Have a conceptual understanding of child protection and safeguarding issues that enables learners to critically evaluate research and practice.
11.5 Develop a thorough understanding of effective communication, engagement and intervention with children/young people including partnership working with parents and carers
11.6 Be able to critically apply ethical concepts of rights, responsibility, freedom, authority and power inherent in the practice of social workers as moral and statutory agents
11.7 Develop expertise and theoretical knowledge (including child development and attachment theories) maintaining a clear focus on a child centred approach
11.8 Understand the established techniques of reflection and evaluation, including familiarity with a range of approaches for evaluating social work outcomes, and their significance for the development of practice and personal learning
11.9 Be able to critically understand and apply the relationship between agency policies, legal requirements and professional responsibilities, the issues associated with working across professional boundaries and the factors and processes that facilitate effective inter disciplinary collaboration and partnership

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.