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Postqualifying Award in Social Work with Children, Young People, their Families and Carers MA/PGDip/PGCert


Course Description

This course is primarily intended for qualified social work practitioners who are registered with the HCPC and undertake direct work with children and young people, their families and/or carers. Colleagues from other disciplines may register for individual modules but are not eligible for either the full or any intermediate award.

The taught element of the course is delivered on a part time basis over 2 academic years. There are 6 modules, each attracting 20 academic credits. Each module involves 5 or 6 days of teaching in blocks of 2 or 3 days. All the modules may be taken on an individual basis.

Overall, the course seeks to highlight the importance of attachment minded practice, strengths based approaches, narrative thinking and relationship-based practice in direct work with children, young people, their families and carers. Attention to the user experience, working alongside colleagues from other agencies and disciplines, and anti-oppressive practice feature throughout the programme.Ultimately our aim is for our candidates to be known as 'thinking performers'.

All of our modules aim to address aspects of the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Child and Family Social Work and the domains of the Professional Capabilities Framework at either social worker (modules 1 and 6) or experienced social worker levels (modules 2-5).

Module 1: A Consolidation Module (6 days)

This module includes attention to: diversity, reflection and reflexivity; child development; communication and engagement; interagency working and safeguarding; and information sharing. Ideas from relationship based practice and attachment theory are prominent in the module. The module may be taken during or following the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment and aims to provide a solid grounding from which practitioners should be able to address the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Child and Family Social Work.

Module 2: Law and Professional Practice (5 days)

This module is in two parts - the first 3 days are led by a practising barrister and aims to ensure candidates have an up-to-date grasp of current child care law. The final 2 days look at presenting complex information in formal arenas (for example at case conferences and court). There is a strong skills element to this section of the programme.

Module 3: Assessment and Risk (6 days)

This module aims to develop practitioner skills in assessing complex situations and starts with an overview of analysis and assessment in direct practice. Thinking about adult states of mind about their early attachment experiences in the context of assessing caregiving capabilities, as well as assessing risk from a strengths based perspective feature.

Module 4: Child Centred Practice / Child Observation (6 days)

The primary aim of this module is to encourage practitioners to adopt a more child centred (as opposed to child focused) approach to their work. Mind-mindedness is emphasised alongside thinking about practice from a narrative perspective and promoting resiliences. This module includes inputs from service users.

Module 5: Change, Transitions and Empowerment (6 days)

This module canvasses some of the key ideas about change, particularly in relation to direct work. The importance of transitions and relationships are emphasised alongside motivational interviewing and systemic ideas about change.

Module 6: Practice Education: Stage 1 (5 days)

This module enables candidates to directly supervise, teach and assess social work students (except final year students. Stage 2 will be needed for that). They will have demonstrated and provided evidence of how they met the Stage 1 Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) and shown a sound value base as a practice educator.

Further details about each of these modules can be obtained from the Programme Director.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Visit the Postqualifying Award in Social Work with Children, Young People, their Families and Carers MA/PGDip/PGCert page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

Entry Requirements

The course is offered at both graduate and postgraduate levels. To be eligible for the postgraduate programme you must hold a degree (ordinarily a 2(i) or above) as well as a recognised social work qualification. To enrol on the BPhil programme, you must hold a recognised social work qualification. All candidates follow the same programme of study.

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Recipient: University of Birmingham

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