Issues for Families - SO717

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
Medway Spring
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5) DR S Rajan Rankin







This module provides an exploration of contemporary family life with a focus on diversity and emerging sociological trends in relation to family. The legal and policy framework of both adults and children’s services across the spectrum is examined. The key issue of multi and interagency working at both a policy and practice level is addressed. In particular, cross service divisions and tensions, particularly in the interface between adult and child services are explored in depth.
A core knowledge of some key issues and their effect on families – namely: disability, mental health, caring, alcohol & substance misuse, illness, learning disability, loss are discussed. The issues in engaging with a variety of family members and partnership working in complex situations along with the multiple perspectives of service users are examined. Throughout the module, key messages from research around best practice in assessment and intervention will be utilised.

Method of assessment

Students will be assessed by coursework (100%) comprising one summative assignment. The summative assignment constitutes a 3000 word reflective analysis of a case scenario task, demonstrating a understanding of the social work role in complex family situations. A comprehensive case scenario will be provided for students. This will encapsulate some of the key issues that occur in family settings. the students will be required to produce a hypothesis of their social work assessment and suggested intervention of the family scenario. Referring to their hypotheses, students will be required to make links with key practice issues and with policy and legal context. Students will be expected to refer to core theoretical frameworks, professional values and research and best practice issues linked to outcomes for families will be explored. Students will also have the opportunity to gain formative assessment and feedback through delivering a short in-class presentation using a creative and visual medium with accompanying bibliography, such a mind mapping or a poster.

Indicative reading

Barlow, J, (2010). (Ed) Substance misuse: The implications of Research, Policy and Practice, London: Jessica Kingsley
Chambers, D (2012). A Sociology of Family Life: Change and diversity in Intimate Relations, Bristol: Polity Press
Featherstone, B, (2004). Family Life and Family Support: A feminist analysis, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan
Reder, P, Mc Clure, M & Jolly, (2005). Family Matters: Interfaces between Child and Adult Mental Health, London: Routledge
Social Care Institute for Excellence, (2009). Think child, think parent, think family: A guide to parental mental health and child welfare, London: SCIE.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

In relation to overall programme learning outcomes, the aim of this module is to prepare students to work professionally with families in a range of settings.
The learning outcomes reflect the domains of the Professional Capabilities Framework and the Curriculum guides issued by The College of Social Work (2012).
On successful completion of this module, students will:
11.1 Understand the diverse, complex, and changing nature of family along with the impact of injustice, social inequalities and oppressive social relations on the lives of individuals
11.2 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the main legal and professional responsibilities of a social worker in different settings with families and a clear awareness of safeguarding issues across the spectrum
11.3 Understand and evaluate the impact of services on the lives of families and the importance of effective communication and partnership working to promote engagement, early intervention and maximise outcomes, drawing on a range of research and best practice
11.4 Be able to apply ethical concepts of rights, responsibility, freedom, authority and power inherent in the practice of social workers as moral and statutory agents. This includes balancing the conflicting rights of members within families
11.5 Develop relevant expertise and theoretical knowledge in a number of key areas, such as the impact of substance misuse, domestic violence and disability on families
11.6 Be able to recognise the importance of conceptualising family issues as cutting across both service and professional boundaries. To understand 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.