module specification

SW7052 - Assessment Planning and Professional Ethics (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Assessment Planning and Professional Ethics
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 10
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 100
60 hours Guided independent study
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50% 40 Essay
Coursework 50% 40 Portfolio
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module examines key social work roles of assessing need and risk and of developing plans for providing support or care to meet these needs and responding to risk. The module considers how social care has developed through the advent of community care to the new personalisation agenda.
The module will also examine the assessment of children in need and their families and the needs of children in care.
The module will set social work practice in the context of anti-discriminatory/anti-oppressive practice, social work values and professional ethics. Key issues around risk analysis and management will be addressed and explored in relation to recommendations of inquiries and serious case reviews.  It is assessed through a written assignment which will be informed by in class exercises.

Module aims

This module provides opportunities for students to prepare for effective social work through:

  • The introduction of key concepts and foundation knowledge of need, risk, support and care for children and adults, and the role of the social worker.
  • Promoting an understanding of legislation, policy and practice guidance related to assessment and support/care planning and learning from inquiries and serious case reviews.
  • Providing an opportunity to comprehend and reflect on models and theories of assessment and support/care planning for children and adults and to develop practitioner skills in a context of social work ethics and values.
  • Promoting the involvement of children and adults in social work processes and the development of skills in the empowerment of service users.


  • The social context and development of social care provision for both children and adults.
  • National and local policies, legislation and procedures on assessment relating to both children and adults in a context of anti-oppressive practice and service user involvement and empowerment.
  • Exploring concepts and models of need and risk for children and adults in a context of the principles of human rights and social justice
  • Analysis and evidence based practice in the assessment of need and risk
  • Key ethical perspectives with a focus on professional accountability and compliance with professional standards and ethical frameworks.
  • Principles of self directed support, needs led and person centred interventions, methods and models.
  • Person centred planning and self directed support for people with learning disabilities
  • Care planning for people with mental health problems – a strengths perspective and focus on the central importance of aims and objectives
  • A network of care – options available including befriending and supported housing and implications and issues for informal carers – debate roles, rights and responsibilities of carers
  • Risk and safety – the key role of monitoring and review – focus on risk assessment, and the Care Programme Approach for people with mental health problems
  • Risk and safety – recognition of opportunities for and patterns of abuse. The focus will be on older people and people with learning or physical disabilities living both in residential care and home support settings
  • The assessment of children in need and their families in a context of multi-professional working.
  • Risk and safety- risk awareness in working with children and families

Learning and teaching

The strategy comprises of a mix of theoretical and practical activities: a combination of lectures, seminars and small group working, often drawing from case studies inquiries and case reviews.. Students will be guided to identify relevant reading to support independent study.
Resources will be made available to students on Weblearn. There are some shared lectures with undergraduate students.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to;

LO1 Examine critically key concepts of need and risk, including constructing hypotheses, and apply
these to the models, legislation, policy and practice guidance that underpin assessment, and support
planning for both children and adults. 

LO2 Analyse key theories, research and learning from inquiries and serious case reviews to recognise
risk and identify when protective action is required, and have knowledge about how to implement that
action for both children and adults.  

LO3 Reflect critically on approaches, such as the personalisation agenda and independent advocacy that
enable practitioners to engage with service users to support them participating in their own
assessments and support plans. 

LO4 Analyse key ethical perspectives, including professional accountability and the requirement for
compliance with the social work role, professional standards and ethical frameworks.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is based on learning from a variety of sources including: case studies and reviews, inquiries and serious case reviews highlighting the importance of assessment and planning for need and risk for both adults and children.  Students will undertake a role play focusing as a formative assessment.  A summative report (4,000 words) consisting of 2 components to address adults and children perspectives will require students to draw on reading and learning from the module, students must incorporate feedback from formative assessments.


Banks, S. (2012) Ethics and Values in Social Work. Hampshire: Palgrave.
Beckett, C. and Maynard, A. (2012) Values and Ethics in Social Work. London, Sage
Broadhurst K. , Wastell D. , White S. , Hall C. , Peckover S. , Thompson K. , Pithouse A. and  Davey D. (2010) ‘Performing 'Initial Assessment': Identifying the Latent Conditions for Error at the Front-Door of Local Authority Children's Services’ British Journal of Social Work, 40 (2), pp. 352-370.
Calder M. (ed) (2008) Contemporary risk assessment in safeguarding children. Dorset: Russell House
Children’s Rights Alliance for England (2012) State of children’s rights in England. London: CRAE
Davies, L. and Duckett, N. (2008) Proactive Child Protection in Social Work. London: Sage
Davies, L. and Kerrigan Lebloch, E. (2013) Communicating with children and families in the context of need and risk. Milton Keynes: Open University Press
Duffy, S. (2007) Care Management and Self Directed Support, Journal of Integrated Care Volume 15 Issue 5, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Glasby, J. and Littlechild, R. (2009) Direct Payments and Personal Budgets: Putting Personalisation Into Practice, Bristol: Policy Press
London Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) (2012) London Child Protection Procedures. London: LSCB
Millner, J. and Byrne 3rd edit (2010) Assessment in Social Work. Hampshire: Palgrave
Parker,J. and  Bradley, G. (2010) Social Work Practice- Assessment, Planning, Intervention and Review.  London: Sage