School of Education and Social Work

Specialist Social Work with Children and Young People, their Families and Carers

(BA) Specialist Social Work with Children and Young People, their Families and Carers

Entry for 2009

FHEQ level

This course is set at Level 6 in the national Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

Course Aims

The core aim of this programme is to assist qualified social workers to develop competent and effective professional practice that promotes and protects the well-being and welfare of children and young people.

The award meets General Social Care Council (GSCC) standards and requirements for the postqualifying award in specialist social work with children and young people, their families and carers and enables registered practitioners to fulfil post registration training and learning requirements (PRTL). The University and employers have worked together to ensure the programme reflects the opportunities and requirements of practice within the integrated children's workforce, and candidates' progress will be linked to professional progression in the workplace.

This route to the PQ Specialist award is aimed at practitioners who gained their social work qualification at diploma level and wish to build on this to achieve an Honours degree through pursuing study leading to a further 120 credits (all modules are taken at H level). Practitioners will be supported by their employer to register for the programme, which will take between 3 and 5 years to complete, through a combination of part-time academic study and learning in the workplace.

The first module, Consolidation of Professional Practice, completed in the first year of qualified practice requires consolidation of initial competence in a specialist context to be demonstrated across all the units of the National Occupational Standards for Social Work integrated with the Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for the Children's Workforce. Experienced social workers will be able to gain recognition and credit for what they have already achieved.

Candidates then undertake the Specialist Practice Core which comprises four specialist practice modules which equip them for practice in the integrated children's workforce. The Specialist Practice Core will normally be taken in one academic year. However, the modular basis of the programme allows modules also to be taken in sequential years, particularly helpful for part-time workers. A module on Enabling Work-based Learning and Assessment will ensure candidates are equipped to contribute to the learning and development of others, including the teaching and assessment of a student social worker. A final module will consist of an independent research project on a topic relevant to the candidate's workplace.

Course Learning Outcomes

1) Demonstrate
a) a systematic, coherent and detailed understanding of key aspects of postqualifying social work with children and young people, their families and carers, informed by research and knowledge that is at the forefront of the knowledge base for practice;
b) an ability to deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within the field of postqualifying social work with children, young people, their families and carers;
c) conceptual understanding that enables sustained arguments and problem solving using ideas and techniques at the forefront of the knowledge and theory base for practice and to describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research in the field;
d) an ability to mange the uncertainty and complexity of professional practice by reference to the evidence base for effective intervention;
e) the ability to manage their own learning, and to make use of primary sources (eg refereed research articles and/or original materials) appropriate to postqualifying social work with children and young people, their families and carers).

2) Demonstrate they have met all of the following standards and requirements which have been set by the General Social Care Council for a programme in PQ Specialist Social Work with Children, Young People, Their Families and Carers:

A). Common Core of Skills & Knowledge for the Children¿s Workforce (Department for Education and Skills)
A1. Communicate and engage with children & families (including direct work)
A2. Child and young person development
A3. Safeguarding and promoting child welfare
A4. Supporting transitions
A5. Multi-agency working (including accountability)
A6. Sharing information

B). Five Outcomes for Children (Every Child Matters/Department for Education and Skills)
B1.Be healthy
B2.Stay safe
B3.Enjoy and achieve
B4.Make a positive contribution
B5.Achieve economic well-being

C). Common Induction Standards (Children's Workforce Development Council)
C1. the principles and values essential for working with children and young people
C2. understanding your role as practitioner
C3. understanding health and safety requirements
C4. effective communication
C5. safeguarding children
C6. understanding child development
C7. personal development.

D). GSCC Specialist Practice Standards for work with Children and Young People, their Families and Carers
D1. Working in partnership (including effective communication, support, advocacy and involvement of ch/yp in decision-making)
D2. Application of assessment models & frameworks including common assessment framework
D3. Co-ordinating services in multi-agency context
D4. Identifying, evaluating and managing risks
D5. Presenting professional views in formal contexts (including court settings)
D6. Applying knowledge/understanding of legal frameworks
D7. Promoting positive change in families
(including ability to realistically evaluate impact of social work intervention)
D8. Responding positively to changes that can take place in family systems
D9. Empowering those affected by discrimination and disadvantage (including poverty, unemployment, homelessness, racism, homophobia, bullying)
D10. Working with parental health & ill-health and impact on children (including mental health, drug and alcohol misuse, disability, domestic violence)

E). GSCC Embedded Values
E1. Engaging with others to develop trust;
E2. Exploring ways to share control over decision-making with young people and their families;
E3. Respect for others, including respect for difference;
E4. Honesty and openness;
E5. An ability and a willingness to look at the needs of children and young people in a holistic way, setting problems alongside overall interests, talents and abilities and drawing on an awareness and appreciation of the diversity of lifestyles and experiences of children

F). GSCC Generic PQ Specialist Level Programme Requirements
F1. Meet the relevant academic standards associated with social work at this level.
F2. Think critically about their own practice in the context of the GSCC codes of practice, national and international codes of professional ethics and the principles of diversity, equality and social inclusion in a wide range of situations, including those associated with inter-agency and inter-professional work.
F3. Consolidate and consistently demonstrate in direct work with users of social care services and carers the full range of social work competences across all the units of the National Occupational Standards for Social Work and in the context of one area of specialist social work practice.
F4. Draw on knowledge and understanding of service users¿ and carers¿ issues to actively contribute to strategies and practice which promote service users¿ and carers¿ rights and participation in line with the goals of choice, independence and empowerment.
F5. Use reflection and critical analysis to continuously develop and improve their specialist practice, including their practice in inter-professional and inter-agency contexts, drawing systematically, accurately and appropriately on theories, models and relevant up-to-date research.
F6. Extend initial competence so as to develop in-depth competence in the context of one area of specialist practice to agreed national specialist standards, drawing on knowledge and experience of the range of settings and service systems that impact on the lives of service users.
F7. Work effectively in a context of risk, uncertainty, conflict and contradiction.
F8. Teach and assess the practice of student social workers and mentor and support students or colleagues;
F9. Take responsibility for the effective use of supervision to identify and explore issues, develop and implement plans and improve own practice.
F10. Effectively manage own work and demonstrate a capacity to plan for and respond to change in organisational, inter-organisational and team contexts.
F11. Develop and implement effective ways of working in networks across organisational, sectoral and professional boundaries, demonstrating a well-developed awareness of the relationship between social work and other roles and an ability to overcome barriers to multi-agency and multi-disciplinary communication, thereby promoting inter-professional working and delivering integrated and person centred services.

G). GSCC Code of practice
G1. Protect the rights and promote the interests of service users and carers;
G2. Strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of service users and carers;
G3. Promote the independence of service users while protecting them as far as possible from danger or harm;
G4. Respect the rights of service users whilst seeking to ensure that their behaviour does not harm themselves or other people;
G5. Uphold public trust and confidence in social care services; and
G6. Be accountable for the quality of their work and take responsibility for maintaining and improving their knowledge and skills.

H). National Service Framework (Department of Health)
H1 Promoting Health and Well-being, Identifying Needs and Intervening Early
H2 Supporting Parenting
H3 Child, Young Person and Family-Centred Services
H4 Growing Up into Adulthood
H5 Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Children and Young People
H8 Disabled Children and Young People and those with Complex Health Needs
H9 The Mental Health and Psychological Well-being of Children and Young People

J). National Occupational Standards (TOPSS/Skills for Care and Development)

Key Role 1: Prepare for, and work with individuals, families, carers, groups and communities to assess needs and circumstances
J1 Prepare for social work contact and involvement
J2 Work with individuals, families, carers, groups and communities to help them make informed decisions
J3 Assess needs and options to recommend a course of action

Key Role 2:
Plan, carry out, review and evaluate social work practice, with individuals, families, carers, groups communities and other, professionals
J 4 Respond to crisis situations
J 5 Interact with individuals, families, carers, groups and communities to achieve change and development and to improve life opportunities
J 6 Prepare, produce, implement and evaluate plans with individuals, families, carers, groups, communities and professional colleagues
J 7 Support the development of networks to meet assessed needs and planned outcomes
J 8 Work with groups to promote individual growth, development and independence
J 9 Address behaviour which presents a risk to individuals, families, carers, groups and communities

Key Role 3: Support individuals to represent their needs, views and circumstances
J 10 Advocate with, and on behalf of, individuals, families, carers, groups and communities
J 11 Prepare for, and participate in decision making forums

Key Role 4: Manage risk to individuals, families, carers, groups, communities, self and colleagues
J 12 Assess and manage risks to individuals, families, carers, groups and communities
J 13 Assess, minimise and manage risk to self and colleagues

Key Role 5: Manage and be accountable, with supervision and support, for your own SW practice within your organisation
J 14 Manage and be accountable for your own work
J 15 Contribute to the management of resources and services
J 16 Manage, present and share records and reports
J 17 Work within multi-disciplinary and multi-organisational teams, networks and systems

Key Role 6: Demonstrate professional competence in social work practice
J 18 Research, analyse, evaluate, and use current knowledge of best social work practice
J 19 Work within agreed standards of social work practice and ensure own professional development
J 20 Manage complex ethical issues, dilemmas and conflicts
J 21 Contribute to the promotion of best social work practice

M). Guidance On The Assessment Of Practice In The Workplace (GSCC/TOPSS)
Domain A: Organise opportunities for the demonstration of assessed competence in practice
Domain B: Enable learning and professional development in practice
Domain C: Manage the assessment of learners in practice

Part-time course composition

YearTermStatusModuleCreditsFHEQ level
1Spring Term1 of these optionsConsolidation of Professional Practice (L5072)156
 Summer Term1 of these optionsConsolidation of Professional Practice - Fast-track (L5073)156

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The University reserves the right to make changes to the contents or methods of delivery of, or to discontinue, merge or combine modules, if such action is reasonably considered necessary by the University. If there are not sufficient student numbers to make a module viable, the University reserves the right to cancel such a module. If the University withdraws or discontinues a module, it will use its reasonable endeavours to provide a suitable alternative module.