module specification

SW5053 - Safeguarding Children and Adults (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Safeguarding Children and Adults
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Essay
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

The module focus is safeguarding children and adults.  Learning is situated within current legislation, policy and practice guidance and draws on knowledge grounded in research and the recommendations of serious case reviews. The module promotes principles of social justice and human rights and the voices of children and adults are represented throughout. A multi-professional approach is central to this module.

Module aims

This module aims to explore social work and multi-agency practice interventions applicable to children and adults in need and at risk of harm. Students will examine how these are informed by theory, research and the voices of children and adults.  Knowledge of inquiries and serious case reviews inform learning and concepts of prevention and protection are central to the module. Understanding thresholds and the application of professional judgement underpin best-practice models.


• Defining safeguarding
• Principles of human rights and social justice
• Legislation, policy, and practice guidance
• Early recognition of abuse and harm
• Multi-agency working
• Anti-oppressive practice
• The involvement of children and adults in safeguarding processes
• Professional  accountability

Learning and teaching

The learning and teaching strategy consists of the methods listed below to help students to rehearse and develop their knowledge and skills. Students will use reading, discussion, reflection and presentation skills to engage with course content. There will be core lectures, small group learning and case analysis. Personal reflection and reflective writing will be encouraged and learning reinforced using Weblearn, visual and online materials. The module will include service user contributions.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Apply principles of human rights and social justice to the safeguarding of children and adults

2. Examine social work practice approaches within in a context of need and risk and a framework of anti-oppressive practice

3. Engage critically with legislation, policy and practice guidance relating to harm and the safeguarding of children and adults

4. Analyse and demonstrate understanding of effective social work and multi-agency interventions in work with children and adults in the context of both need and risk and from a rights perspective.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide an opportunity for students to evidence their ability to apply their knowledge of research, theory, legislation, policy and practice guidance with regard to effective safeguarding practice. Students draw on a serious case review that adopts a holistic approach relating to safeguarding for both adults and children. A reflective activity based on class content will provide formative assessment at the mid-way point of the module.  Summative assessment will be an essay of 2,500 words.


Adams, R. (Ed) (2012) Working with children and families. Knowledge and contexts for practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Bailey, D. (2012) Interdisciplinary Working in Mental Health. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Bowen, P (2014) A critique of the domestic law framework  Access to Social Care Human Rights: transforming services? London. Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) Online Available from;
Brown, K. (Ed) (2010) Vulnerable Adults and Community Care 2nd Ed. Essex: Learning Matters.
Calder, M. (Ed) (2008) Contemporary risk assessment in safeguarding children. Dorset: Russell House.
Cossar, J, Brandon, M and Jordan, P (2011) ‘Don’t make assumptions’: children’s and young people’s views of the child protection system and messages for change. London: Office of the Children’s Commissioner
Davies, L. and Duckett, N. (2008) Proactive child protection and social work.  London: Sage.
Davies, L. and Kerrigan Lebloch, E. (2013) Communicating with children and their families in the context of need and risk. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Davies, M. (Ed) (2012) Social Work with Children and Families, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Department for Education (2013) Working Together to Safeguard Children, London: The Stationery Office.
Department of Health (2000) No secrets: Guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse, London: Department of Health
Department of Health (2013) Statement of Government Policy in Adult Safeguarding. Online Available from:        
Ferguson H (2011) Child protection practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Golightley, M. (2011) Social Work and Mental Health. Exeter: Learning Matters.
Hothersall, S. and Maas-Lowit, M. (Eds) (2010) Need, Risk and Protection in Social Work Practice. Exeter: Learning Matters.
Levitas, R. (2012) There may be ‘trouble’ ahead: What we know about those 120,000 ‘troubled’ families Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK Policy Series Issue 3. London: Bristol Poverty and Social Exclusion. 
Loshak, R. (ed.) (2013) Out of the Mainstream: Helping Children of Parents with a Mental Illness. Hove: Routledge.
Mandelstam, M (2011) Safeguarding adults at risk of harm: A legal guide for practitioners.  Online Available from:
Mandelstam, M (2013) Safeguarding vulnerable adults and the law. London: Jessica Kingsley
Mantell, A. and Scragg, T. (2011) Safeguarding Adults in Social Work.  Essex: L SCIE (2011) Protecting adults at risk of harm: London multi-agency policy and procedures to safeguard adults from abuse.  Exeter: Learning Matters
Stanley N, Penhale B, Riordan D, Riord R, Barbour S and Holden S (2003) Child Protection and Mental Health Services: Interprofessional Responses to the Needs of Mothers. Bristol. Policy Press