Social Work with Children and Families - SOCI7160

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Bridget Ng'andu checkmark-circle


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 is another core area of practice that 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 and developing critical analysis and professional judgement will be discussed in depth


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


BA (Hons) Social Work (compulsory)

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Coursework – essay (2000 words) - 70%*
Response to a legal problem (1250 words) – 30%
* The essay must be passed in order to pass the module.

Reassessment methods

Indicative reading

Corby, B., Shemmings, D. & Wilkins, D. (2012) Child Abuse: An evidence base for confident practice. 4th edn. Maidenhead: Open University Press
Daniel, B., Wassel, S. and Gilligan, R. (2010) Child Development for Child Care and Protection Workers. London: Jessica Kingsley
Featherstone, B., White, S. & Morris, K. (2014) Re-Imagining Child Protection: Towards humane social work with families. Bristol: Policy Press
Ferguson, H. (2011) Child Protection Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Gardner, R. (ed) (2016) Tackling Child Neglect. London: Jessica Kingsley
Basarab-Horwath, J. (ed) (2019) The Child's World: The Essential Guide to Assessing Children in Need, London: Jessica Kinglsey
Lefevre, M (2010) Communicating with Children and Young People. Bristol: The Policy Press

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 a critical understanding of the impact of injustice, socio economic factors, social inequalities and oppressive social relations on the lives of children and families
8.2 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
8.3 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
8.4 Have a conceptual understanding of child protection and safeguarding issues that enables learners to critically evaluate research and practice.
8.5 Demonstrate a thorough understanding of effective communication, engagement and intervention with children/young people including partnership working with parents and carers
8.6 Critically apply ethical concepts of rights, responsibility, freedom, authority and power inherent in the practice of social workers as moral and statutory agents
8.7 Demonstrate expertise and theoretical knowledge (including child development and attachment theories) maintaining a clear focus on a child centred approach
8.8 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
8.9 Critically understand 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

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Demonstrate of academic skills through library investigation, web based resources (e-journals and other on-line resources) appropriate to level 5 study
9.2 Demonstrate the ability to integrate theoretical perspectives and evidence from a range of appropriate sources in order to construct a coherent argument in writing


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  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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