module specification

SW4007 - Assessing, Planning and Professional Ethics (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Assessing, Planning and Professional Ethics
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
120 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
180 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Case Study (2,500 words)
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module provides opportunities for students to prepare for effective social work practice 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 adults and children. L.O 3, 1

• 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.  L.O 2, 4

• Exploring concepts and models of need and risk for children and adults in a context of the principles of human rights and social justice.  L.O 2, 4

• Analysis and evidence based practice in the assessment of need and risk.  Identify key ethical perspectives with a focus on professional accountability and compliance with professional standards and ethical frameworks.   L.O 1, 3

• Principles of self- directed support, needs led and person centred interventions, methods and models.  Awareness of person centred planning and self-directed support for people with learning disabilities.  L.O 1, 3, 4

• 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.   L.O 3, 4

• 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.  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.  L.O 1, 2, 3

• The assessment of children in need and their families in a context of multi-professional working.  Risk awareness in working with children and families.  L.O 1, 2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

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 and serious case reviews.

Students will be guided to identify relevant reading to support independent study. Resources will be made available to students on Weblearn.

Learning outcomes

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

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

2. Demonstrate understanding of 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. 

3. Reflect 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.

4. Consider 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 designed to provide a rich mix of formative assessment opportunities to prepare students for the summative assignments. The assessment strategy is based throughout upon learning from a serious case review which highlights the importance of assessment and planning for need and risk for both adults and children. The assessment is a portfolio consisting of two components:  Students must pass both components.

• Students will undertake summative assignment that includes a group case presentation within a strategy meeting format focusing on an adult or children and families case study. Written feedback provided.

• A summative written assignment based on the case study used for the strategy meeting (2,500 words) will require students to draw on reading and learning from the module. This assignment will assess all Learning Outcomes.


Core Textbooks:
Parker, J. (2017) Social Work Practice, Assessment, Planning, Intervention and Review, Sage Publications

Other Text:
Walker, S. and Beckett, C (2011). Social Work Assessment and Intervention (2nd Ed) Russell House Publishing.

Core Textbooks:
Holt, K. (2014) Child Protection.  Palgrave

Other Text:
Kemshall, H et al (2013) Working with Risk. London: Polity.

British Journal of Social Work
Child and Family Social Work