Childhood is accorded a special status under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and child welfare forms a policy focus for states across the globe. Within the UK, child health and social care has received considerable support under the government's modernising agenda leading to an increase in childcare provision, employment opportunities and a growing evidence and academic knowledge base. The School of Social Work has been active in developments in child care practice and research and has developed a strong child care research group which has contributed to our success in establishing a research profile of national and international significance. The school is home to the Centre for Childhood and Youth research [‘TheCentre’] led by Professors Nigel Thomas and Andy Bilson and is an active member of the Making Research Count Network.
The course takes a research-applied approach to examining contemporary practice and service provision and also offers opportunities to engage in research and theoretical work. It is made up of three parts:
Core childcare modules which critically examine conventional developmental approaches and more recent research on contemporary childhoods; contemporary national and international research, policy and practice concerning children's safety and protection; the ways in which relevant legislation and guidance including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child [UNCRC]; Children Acts, 1989 and 2004, Every Child Matters and the Human Rights Act are currently being applied in the UK and the part law plays in constructing appropriate roles for children.
Further core modules provide for knowledge and skills development in Research Methods, and the critical exploration of the contemporary contexts of service developments in children's services.