SW0617 - Knowledge for Safeguarding Practice

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This module aims to prepare students for the final practice learning experience by further developing their knowledge and understanding of safeguarding across the life span with reference to different service-user groups and the specific issues associated with these.
Students will develop an understanding of the interplay between relevant legislative and policy frameworks including specific reflection on ‘lessons from practice’ and the development of decision making frameworks and interagency working practices. Students will consider questions of participation, autonomy and capacity in relation to young and/or vulnerable service users, making links to knowledge of human growth and development and associated safeguarding practices. Questions of professional power, individual choice, methods of engagement and communication and the use of frameworks for social control willbe considered. Students will explore the theories relating to the personal/professional interface and its impact on safeguarding practice.

The module will be delivered using a range of methods including lectures, seminars and directed learning tasks. In addition there will be specific workshops considering safeguarding from both an adult and child perspective. Formative assessment will feed into the summative task and focus on the student’s application of theoretical knowledge to social work practice. The summative task supports the student to acquire knowledge and understanding relevant to safeguarding in the practice environment.


Books and Reports

Archambeault, J. (2009) Reflective reader social work and mental health. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Carr, S., & Dittrich, R. (2008) Personalisation; A rough guide. London: Social Care Institute for Excellence.
Cohen, B. (2008) Mental health user narratives. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Connolly, M., Crichton-Hill, Y. & Ward, T. (2006) Culture and child protection:
Reflexive Responses, London: JKP

Department for Children, school and families (2010) Working together to safeguard children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. London: The Stationery Office
Department of Health (2008) Transforming adult social care. London: The Stationary Office.

Fauth, R. Jelicic, H., Hart, D. Burton, S. & Shemmings, D. (2010) Effective practice to protect children living in ‘highly resistant’ families. London, C4EO

Fook, J. (2012) Social work: A critical approach to practice. London: Sage.

Glendinning, C. Moran, N. et al. (2008) Evaluation of the individual budgets pilot programme: Final report. University of York: Social Policy Research Unit.

Goodman, A. (2009) Social work and substance misusers. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Mantell, A. (2009) Social work skills with adults. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Munro, E. (2011) Munro report; A child centred system. London: The Stationary Office

Repper, J. & Perkins, R. (2003) Social inclusion and recovery: A model for mental health practice. Edinburgh: Bailliere Tindall.

Pritchard, J. (2008) (ed.) Good practice in safeguarding adults: Working effectively in adult protection. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Smith, R. (2008) Power and social work, London: Palgrave.

Tew, J. (ed.) (2005) Social perspective in mental health: Developing social models to understand and work with mental distress. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Journal Articles

Beresford, P., Croft, S., and Adshead, L. (2008) ‘”We don’t see her as a social worker”: A service user case study of the importance of the social worker’s
relationship and humanity’, British journal of social work, 38, pp.1388-1407.
Daniel, B. (2010) ‘Concepts of adversity, risk, vulnerability and resilience: a discussion in the context of the 'child protection system’’ Social policy and society 9(2):231-241
Helm, D. (2011) ‘Judgements or assumptions? The role of analysis in assessing children and young people’s needs’, British journal of social work 41 (5)pp. 894–911
Manthorpe, J., Rapaport, J. & Stanley, N. (2009) ‘Expertise and experience: people with experiences of using services and carers’ views of the Mental Capacity Act, 2005.’ British journal of social work, 39, pp. 884 – 900.
McDonald, A., Postle, K., & Dawson, C. (2008) ‘Barriers to retaining and using professional knowledge in local authority social work practice with adults in the UK’, British journal of social work, 38, pp.1370-1387.
Parton, N. (2008) ‘Changes in the form of knowledge in social work: From the
“social” to the “informational”’, British journal of social work 38, pp.253-269.
Seddon, D., Robinson, C., Reeves, C., Tommis, Y., Woods, B. & Russell, I. (2007) ‘In their own right: Translating the policy of carer assessment into practice.’ British journal of social work, 37, pp.1135 – 1352.

Electronic Resources


The syllabus will include:
Advanced knowledge for safeguarding
? Understanding the interplay of psychological, economic, social and physiological risk factors
? Knowledge base underpinning the recognition of signs and indicators of abuse
? Models of risk assessment and management in relation to specific service user groups
? Attachment & loss
? Harm
? Vulnerability
? Safeguarding in different contexts

? Implications of social welfare policy for social work practice
Applying research and theory
? Assessing the implications of different kinds of knowledge
? Critical understanding of the application of research and theory
? Using evidence in professional judgement
? Exploring the personal/professional interface and the impact of this on on safeguarding practice
? Apply knowledge of life course

Service user perspectives
? Understanding of the impact of safeguarding issues on individual and family life.
? Consider the impact of professional power and notion of risk on individuals and families
? Development of risk assessment and management strategies


This module builds upon learning in levels 4 and 5 and aims to support learners to move from an understanding of human development to professional capability in relation to application of knowledge underpinning safeguarding at a level at which they may register with the HCPC as a qualified social worker.
In order to do this the module aims to support further development of knowledge of theory and research relevant to interventions, and consider ethical issues raised by the application of knowledge in practice. This will also aim to develop skills in applying knowledge in analysing information and applying professional judgement in different professional contexts. The module will also aim to support skills in applying systemic and other relevant approaches in assessing and responding to risk and the needs of service-users, and applying knowledge of human development to inform the choice of models and methods used to engage and work with a diverse range of service-users
This module is the final part of the thread which scaffolds acquisition of a wide range of knowledge to support social work practice as identified within the Professional Capabilities framework.


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

1. Utilise theories and research evidence in formulating professional judgement
2. Critically evaluate underpinning knowledge for assessment and intervention within the constraints and opportunities of the legal, political and social context.
3. Critically appraise knowledge relevant to care, control, support and protection in relation to the social work role
4. Assess the impact and effects of different forms of risk/significant harm, and the potential impact of interventions, both on service-users and on workers themselves
5. Compare and contrast how knowledge of social divisions, including culture, class, gender, disability and sexual orientation in formulating professional judgement
6. Evidence a sophisticated grasp of key concepts in safeguarding practice


SW0507, SW0508, SW0509, SW0510, SW0511, SW0512






The module will be delivered using a range of teaching methods including lectures seminars, directed learning and self directed study. Supporting learning will be available through the electronic learning portal.
People who use services and carers will be involved in teaching and assessment of the module.
Students will be encouraged to link their learning to their practice learning opportunities and critically appraise this practice.
Peer support and group work will be encouraged throughout the module.
Shared workshops with the interventions module at this level will explore the interface between safeguarding knowledge and interface with specific service user groups.


a. Summative assessment and rationale for tasks
Mini-project focussed on an area of safeguarding practice, analysis of the available evidence-base on the topic and assessment of the implications of this evidence for social work practice. The rationale for this task is that it offers an opportunity for learners to focus on relevant literature in preparation for entering the practice learning environment. 2000 words.

b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale
Identify a relevant journal on the safeguarding issue chosen and prepare a brief summary of its relevance and application in practice. Discuss this within a small group setting with peers and a service user or carer.
c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning
Students will get verbal feedback from staff and peers on their review of a journal article. This will support development of the wider review for the summative task.



Course info

UCAS Code L502

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Department Social Work, Education & Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020 or September 2021

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