SW0724 - Social Work Interventions

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This module encourages students to explore knowledge and skills related to social work interventions within three different domains:
? Intervening with individuals in context. This builds on learning about core communication skills delivered in SW0725 to develop an understanding of how to effect change with a range of service users and practice situations. Application of assessment and intervention models and methods will enable students to acquire relevant underpinning theory and skills and values to promote positive change.
? Knowledge of systemic approaches to social work intervention, core principles underpinning this way of working and to enhancing the practical ability to successfully intervene with individuals and families
? Social action and the principles of how to support community groups, initiatives and programmes in achieving social change objectives, using different organisational approaches. As third sector projects are increasingly taking responsibility for welfare provision, this Module supports student knowledge of this sector. This requires knowledge and understanding of how ‘not for profit’ or community organisations identify social change objectives, needs and trends and how they work in partnership with service users and others.
A key purpose of the module teaching and learning strategy is to enable students to have the opportunity to practice direct social work skills underpinned by an understanding of the contexts in which this action might take place, and the social work process. The module will therefore incorporate 15 skills teaching days which will include focus on a range of skills learning, for example some systemic tools and techniques for use with a range of service-user groups in a variety of contexts, and managing self in formal situations (e.g. Court, tribunals, professional panels) and developing more advanced practice skills in working with people who present particular challenges. Skills based sessions will provide opportunities for formative feedback from peers, invited practitioners and seminar leaders.

The module will be summative assessed by a critical evaluation of an intervention carried out during the practice learning experience.


Books and Reports
Barton, H; Guise, R; Grant, M, (2010) Shaping neighbourhoods: for local health and global sustainability, 2nd ed., London , Routledge.

Department of Health (2010) A vision for adult social care: capable communities and active citizens www.dh.gov.uk

Cattell, V. (2012) Poverty, community, and health: co-operation and the good society, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Healy, K. (2012) Social work methods and skills: the essential foundations of practice. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Henderson, P. & Thomas, D. (2013) Skills in neighbourhood work. 4th edn. London: Routledge.

Hills, J. (2013) Introduction to systemic and family therapy: A users guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Mantell, A. (2009) Social work skills with adults. 2nd edition Exeter: Learning Matters.

Lowe, R (2004) Family therapy: A constructive framework. London: Sage Publications.

Parker, J., Bradley,G.(2010) Social work practice: assessment, planning, intervention and review. 3rd Edn. Learning Matters.

Quinney, A. & Hafford-Letchfield, T. (2012) Interprofessional social work: Effective collaborative approaches London, Learning Matters.

Ruch, G., Turney, Danielle and Ward, Adrian (2010). Relationship based social work. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Salans, M. (2004) Story-telling with children in crisis. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Taylor. B. (2011) Working with aggression and resistance in social work. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Walker, S.(2012) Effective social work with children, young people and families: Putting systems theory into practice. London: Sage Publications Inc.

Journal Articles
Helm, D. (2011) ‘Judgements or assumptions? The role of analysis in assessing children and young people’s needs’, British journal of social work (2011) 5, 41, pp. 894–911.
Maidment, J. & Macfarlane, S. (2011) ‘Older women and craft: extending educational horizons in considering wellbeing’, Social work education, 30 (6) pp. 700 – 711.
Ochieng B, (2011) The effect of kin, social network and neighbourhood support on individual well-being, Health and social care in the community, July, 19, 4 pp. 429-437.
Williams,G (2007) ‘Community health and well-being: action research on health inequalities’, Bristol: Policy Press.
British Journal of Social Work
Child and Family Social Work
Community Development Journal
Health and Place
Health and Social Care in the Community
Health, Risk and Society
Journal of Social Policy

Electronic Resources

Beresford, P. & Hasler, F. (2009) Transforming social care: Changing the future together. Shaping our Lives available at: http://www.shapingourlives.org.uk/documents/132459TransformingSocialCareFinal150dpi.pdf
Branfield, F. (2009) Relationship matters: Building our knowledge and networks Shaping our Lives available at: http://www.shapingourlives.org.uk/ourpubs.html
Galvani, S., Dance, C. and Hutchinson, A. (2011) From the front line: alcohol, drugs and social care practice. A national study. Available at: www.beds.ac.uk/goldbergcentre/research 2.
Henwood, M. (2012) Empowering communities: Community skills development and neighbourhood workforce planning. Leeds: Skills for Care www.skillsforcare.org.uk
Wilton, C (2012) Building community capacity: evidence, efficiency and cost-effectiveness www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/BCC.
(The Community Development Foundation)


The Curriculum will include:
Intervening with Individuals
? Methods of assessment and intervention.
? Enhanced communication skills and self awareness, in practice situations
? Management of self within the professional role
? Incorporating personal and professional boundaries into practice
? Applying and using specific frameworks for assessment and models for intervention.
? Working with difficult situations
? Presenting and managing self within situations where conflict is an issue.
? Child observation
Systemic Interventions
? Understanding origins of systemic thinking and underpinning theory.
? Develop knowledge and understanding of key systemic principles and approaches and how these can inform effective social work practice
? Applying systemic principles, tools and techniques to enhance assessment and intervention skills in practice.
? Understanding the importance of language in the process of communication and develop skills in listening effectively and asking questions.
? Introduce some helpful systemic tools and techniques for use with a range of service-user groups/contexts and develop ability to use these in practice.
? The importance of language in constructing shared meanings and how to enhance communication skills in practice situations.
Intervening with Communities
? Policy drivers at national and local level that support not for profit or community organisations
? The type and range of community organisations that operate in neighbourhoods
? Neighbourhoods and the communities they serve
? Examples of local not for profit or community organisations engaged in social action of various kinds
? Sources of support for new organisations
? Understanding of social needs and potential for development


This module aims to provide knowledge and practical skills to support development of a range of intervention skills as set out within the Professional Capability Framework. This module aims to prepare students for practice in a range of contexts and enhance future employability, and to understand core similarities and differences between different approaches. This will include intervening within individual, systemic and community domains.


On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of core principles for forming effective partnerships with individuals, families and communities
2. Critically evaluate and apply a range of models and methods for assessment
3. Demonstrate a range of core intervention skills
4. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of systemic principles and approaches, and familiarity with systemic tools and techniques
5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of social need
6. Critically appraise the potential role of community organisations in effecting social change to meet identified need




SW0723, SW0725




Learning will be promoted by the use of lectures, seminars and directed learning. The module will include 15 days of skills learning. Small workshops will focus on skills development in relation to methods of intervention. Staff modelling and role play will be used to enhance the learning experience. Electronic materials will also be used. Service user and practitioner involvement will reinforce the authenticity of the learning opportunity offered on the module.


a. Summative assessment and rationale for tasks
A critical evaluation of an intervention carried out during the practice learning experience. This is authentic as a task based in the practice context, which allows for appraisal of the student’s own performance and exploration of alternative strategies. 3000 words
b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale
The student will send a plan of the assignment (in an agreed format) to the guidance tutor and practice educator for feedback.
c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning
Feedback from the guidance tutor will be electronic, and feedback from the practice educator offered in supervision.



Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time

Department Social Work, Education & Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start January 2021

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