Issues for Families - SOCI7170

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Johanna Woodcock Ross checkmark-circle


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.


Contact hours

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


BA (Hons) Social Work

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Coursework – assignment (3000 words) – 100%

Reassessment methods


Indicative reading

Barlow, J. (Ed) (2010) 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., McClure, 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 (Medway)

Learning outcomes

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

8.1 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
8.2 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
8.3 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
8.4 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
8.5 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
8.6 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

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

9.1 Develop communication skills, including being able to communicate to specialist and non-specialist audiences and employ the use of
information technology
9.2 Demonstrate problem solving skills, including the use of analytical techniques to come up with solutions
9.3 Demonstrate skills in gathering, analysing and synthesising information, including critical analysis


  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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