module specification

SH7058 - Children and Families: Policy and Practice (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Children and Families: Policy and Practice
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 200
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Research report
Coursework 70%   Essay
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies North - Not applicable

Module summary

This module is Block delivered, over the Summer period 

Students are introduced to a range of policy initiatives relating to children and families, and practice implications for  professionals are critically appraised.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

• To explain and evaluate contemporary research about children and families
• To develop an understanding and awareness of the policy and professional debates on the family and childhood
• To explore the concept of childism and promote the rights of the child to protection from harm


This course begins with an overview of current government policy in relation to children and families.  The module focus is on children's rights and key policy initiatives relating to children and families including current definitions of childhood. Childism is examined throughout.  Inter-professional working to safeguard children is considered as well as children's involvement in social care processes. Professional issues relating to safe care and child protection are studied as well as the complex abuse of children.

Learning and teaching

Teaching is delivered through 11 weekly lectures followed by seminar activities. Outside speakers contribute to this module. Students are encouraged to contribute to the sessions

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module you should be able to:
1. Discuss contemporary  research relating to children and families - noting any associated methodological or inter-professional issues
2. Critically analyse contemporary public policy and professional debates on children and families
3. Demonstrate an understanding of children's rights and the concept of childism

Assessment strategy

Assessment is by coursework. A research report of 1500 words 30% and an essay 3000 words 

A research report of 1,500 words identifying the implications of one or more pieces of research for both welfare professionals and broader public debate. Students will need to demonstrate awareness of methodology and be able to critically analyse public policy and professional debate in the light of research evidence. (30% of marks)

An essay of 2,500- 3,000 words, requiring students to examine in depth a recent development in child and family policy or practice. Students will be expected to demonstrate familiarity with relevant literature and to draw on course content and weblearn resources in analysing the material presented. The essay should relate to the research report topic and demonstrate critical analysis of that topic (70% of  marks)

Formative assessment is included through a presentation of a profile for the report and essay project in week 5 and a presentation of 15 minutes in week 9 summarising key aspects of the assignments.


Brandon, M Belderson, P Warren, C Howe, D Gardner, R Dodsworth, J Black, J (2008) Analysing child deaths and serious injury through abuse and neglect: what can we learn? A biennial analysis of serious case reviews 2003-5. London: DCSF
Calder M and Hackett S (2003) Assessment in Child Care. Dorset. Russell House
Corby B (2006) Child abuse Towards a Knowledge base. Berkshire. OUP
Davies L and Duckett N (2008) Proactive child protection – the social work task. Exeter. Learning Matters
Department for Education (2010) Working Together to Safeguard Children.London. TSO
Fawcett B, Featherstone B and Goddard J (2004) Contemporary child care policy and practice. Hampshire. Palgrave
Garrett P (2009) Transforming Children’s Services? Social Work, Neoliberalism and the Modern World. Milton Keynes. Open University Press
James A and Prout A (1997) Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood. London. Routledge
Munro E (2002 ) Effective Child Protection. London. Sage
Parton N (2006) Safeguarding childhood. Early intervention and surveillance in a late modern society. Hampshire. Palgrave