Direct Work With Children - SOCI9470

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Summer Term 7 20 (10) Vanisha Jassal checkmark-circle


The ability to understand children and young people's experiences is crucial at both the assessment and intervention stage. Simply talking to them is neither sufficient nor effective in itself to fully grasp the 'intentional state' of their inner mind. Similarly, using a range of materials will not automatically open the door for them to express themselves. It will not necessarily ensure practitioners understand the child’s world. It takes skill and knowledge alongside the competent use of appropriate tools. The Direct Work module aims to help practitioners go 'beyond the surface’ by using a ‘mentalization’ approach throughout and the online format of the module will allow ample space for reflection and discussion amongst the student group and between students and the course tutor. Practitioners will benefit from innovative teaching methods which adhere to the Centre’s creative approach to learning, and will partake in weekly discussion forums to reflect upon what they have read, seen and heard in a particular week. A series of video lectures delivered by experienced professionals in the field of direct work will also be shared.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 7
Private study hours: 183
Total study hours: 200


This module is only available as a standalone module.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Coursework - essay (5000 words) - 85%
Coursework – online forum Contribution - 15%

The written assignment must be passed in order for the module to be passed overall

Reassessment methods

100% coursework

Indicative reading

Handley and Doyle (2014). Ascertaining the wishes and feelings of young children: social workers' perspectives on skills and training. Child & Family Social Work, V.19, pp. 443–454.
Shemmings, D. and Shemmings, Y. (2011). Understanding disorganized attachment. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Rogers, V. (2011). Games and Activities for Exploring Feelings with Children. (London: Jessica Kingsley).
Tait, A. and Wosu, H. (2013). Direct Work with Vulnerable Children. (London: Jessica Kingsley).
Doherty-Sneddon, G. (2003). Children's Unspoken Language. (London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers).
North, J. (2014). Mindful Therapeutic Care for Children. (London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers).
Munro, E. (2011). The Munro Review of child protection: final report - a child-centred system.
Laming, H. (2003). The Victoria Climbié Inquiry. Parliamentary Report.
Haringey Safeguarding Children Board (2008). Peter Connolly: First Serious Case Review Report.
Coventry Safeguarding Children Board (2013). Daniel Pelka: Serious Case Review.

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of different perspectives of support, help and intervention in families and with children where
there are child protection concerns, and evaluate the impact of these.
8.2 Evaluate critically different types of interventions with mothers, fathers, parental figures and children/young people.
8.3 Evaluate critically and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the impact of different types of support and intervention on mothers,
fathers, parental figures and children/young people.
8.4 Demonstrate a systematic understanding of service users' perceptions of support and intervention and how these might be perceived as
helpful and unhelpful, particularly from the perspectives of children and young people.
8.5 Critically evaluate different sociological and psychological theoretical paradigms which underpin interventions for mothers, fathers, parental
figures and children/young people, particularly from the perspectives of children and young people
8.6 Analyse in written and verbal format the complex issues involved in the intervention and support of children and families in child protection.
8.7 Critically assess the validity of different types of research into support and intervention in child welfare. Participants will be able to integrate
theoretical and practical skills and apply this learning to complex child presentation and communication scenarios.
8.8 Understand the importance of attachment theory as a means by which to understand individual presentation, social worlds and risk.
Attachment will be clearly integrated into direct work in practice with children and families.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Demonstrate communication commensurate with postgraduate level study, including in online and face to face presentations, verbal
debates, in written and electronic format and in the use of research and empirical data.
9.2 Demonstrate skills in gathering library and web based research and resources on child protection issues at a level appropriate for
postgraduate study.
9.3 Demonstrate skills in synthesising and evaluating complex knowledge and theoretical perspectives from different disciplines and countries.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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