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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

HECS5294M Social Work with Children & Families

15 creditsClass Size: 30

If you are applying for a stand-alone Masters level module please note you must meet either the general University entry criteria or the specific module pre-requisite for this level of study.

Module manager: Kirsteen Laidlaw

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Entry criteria for MA programme

Module replaces

HECS5163M Working with Children and Families

This module is not approved as an Elective


To ensure that students are able to:
- Critically explore the nature of current law, policies and procedures which affect children and families and draw international comparisons.
- Evaluate, synthesise and integrate research-based knowledge and theories concerning the changing nature of childhood and family life.
- Critically evaluate the nature of current provision of services to children and families and the historical development of such services.
- Critically and reflectively analyse the importance of values, diversity, anti oppressive practice and service user and carer perspectives and their application to social work practice with children and families

Learning outcomes
Students will acquire, critically evaluate, apply and integrate knowledge and understanding of:
1. The historical, political, social, cultural values and belief systems which underpin explanations of childhood and families
2. Social, biological and psychological perspectives on human growth and behaviour in relation to children and families.
3. Explanations of disability, gender, ethnicity and social disadvantage and their importance in understanding children and families
4. The nature of social work legal interventions with families including evaluation of concepts of harm, risk, safety and protection, with particular emphasis on the child's perspective and protection
5. The various social work roles and the provision of services in relation to working with children and families and how these have developed historically.
6. Frameworks and tools for assessment, planning, intervention and review
7. Using evidenced based research and theoretical perspectives in working with children and families
8. The issues and dilemmas around professional ethics, anti-oppressive practice and service user participation in work with children and families
9. Interprofessional and collaborative approaches to work with children and families.
10. The impact on self of working within complex organisations and in challenging situations and how to manage this.
11. International comparisons of approaches towards social work with children and families

Skills outcomes
2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 2.7
5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4
6.1, 6.2
8.4, 8.8
9.1, 9.3
13.1, 13.2, 13, 13.4
14.5, 14.6, 14.7

Professionalism 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 1.9
Values & ethics 2.1, 2.2, 2.3
Diversity 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Rights etc 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4
Knowledge 5.1 to 5.12
Reflection & analysis 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6
Intervention & skills 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.10, 7.12, 7.13
Contexts/organisations 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.5, 8.7


- The nature of childhood and family life. Historical, social, cultural, political and international perspectives.
- Social, biological and psychological models of human growth and behaviour in relation to children and families including critical analysis of current research on psychological and sociological perspectives in child development and child welfare.
- Inter-professional and multi-disciplinary working in the delivery of services to children and families.
- Definitions and understandings of safeguarding, child protection and family support. Current research and analysis of social work practice in these areas.
- Frameworks and tools for assessment, planning, intervention and review.
- Communication and direct work with children & young people.
- Social work practice with unaccompanied, asylum and refugee children
- Social work practice with disabled children and their families
- Working with young people at risk of sexual exploitation.
- The impact of parental mental illness, problem alcohol use and drug use and domestic violence
- Social work practice with Looked After / Adopted Children

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours20.00
Private study hours92.00
Total Contact hours38.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Online exercises
Online discussion and collaboration with other students
Independent literature reviewing and research

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminar discussions, group work and online study will enable formative assessments to be made and discussed with students.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 17/12/2020


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