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Return to Social Work: Learning Materials. SLIDE PACK. Contents. Module 1: Returning to Social Work – Slide 3. Module 2: Understanding the PCF – Slide 30. Module 3: Reflective Self – Slide 48. Module 4: Law – 72. Module 5: Equality & Diversity – Slide 100.

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Presentation Transcript
  • Module 1: Returning to Social Work – Slide 3.
  • Module 2: Understanding the PCF – Slide 30.
  • Module 3: Reflective Self – Slide 48.
  • Module 4: Law – 72.
  • Module 5: Equality & Diversity – Slide 100.
  • Module 6: Social Policy – Slide 117.
  • Module 7: Communication & Partnerships – Slide 139.
  • Module 8: Safeguarding & Corporate Parenting – Slide 158.
  • Module 9: Children in Need – Slide 190.
  • Module 10: Working in Organisations – Slide 215.
module 1 returning to social work

Module 1:Returning to Social Work

Return to Social Work:

Learning Materials


Who does what in the new regulatory landscape?

The regulator (HCPC) sets the standards of public protection, approves initial/qualifying training and AMHP training against these standards.

The College of Social Work owns and upholds professional standards, providing professional services to help meet the standards, and champions social work.

Trade unions and professional associations provide employment and conduct hearing representation and advice.


A new regulator for Social work:

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

  • Independent regulator of 15 professions
  • Concerned with public protection
  • Sets standards for education and training, conduct, competence and CPD
  • Upholds standards through fitness to practice process
  • Statutory registration
hcpc requirements for people returning to practice
HCPC requirements for people returning to practice

Requirements for returning to the Register depend on how long you have been out of practice:

  • 0-2 years - no requirements
  • 2-5 years - 30 days of updating skills and knowledge
  • 5 years + - 60 days of updating skills and knowledge

You can choose what you do during these days, but private study must not make up more than half the updating period

The updating period has to take place within 12 months of the date on which you apply to go back on the Register.


Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF)

  • is the sole framework for social work education and professional development
  • - is owned by TCSW
  • - was developed by and for the social work profession

Reforms to continuing professional development (CPD)

  • Promotes organisational and personal responsibility for CPD
  • Supports maintaining core HCPC re-registration standards
  • Encourages skill development to the higher level set by the PCF
  • Consistent with HCPC requirements for re-registration

The HCPC Standards for CPD

Registrants must:

  • Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities
  • Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user
  • Present a written profile containing evidence of their CPD on request.

Implementation of workload and case allocation systems

  • Ensuring that social workers can work safely
  • Regular and appropriate social work supervision
  • Support involvement with The College of Social Work
  • Ensuring social workers can maintain their professional registration
  • Opportunities for CPD
  • Social work accountability framework
the frameworks for practice
The frameworks for practice

Regulation and


Social workers in England must be registered with HCPC in order to practise.

You must ensure that you are registered and

meet the HCPC standards for CPD.

Social worker is a protected title, and it is an

offence to misuse it.


  • Social workers in England must meet the HCPC standards of conduct, performance and ethics and the standards of proficiency relevant to their scope of practice
  • The PCF has been developed and agreed by the profession and provides

standards to work to at all career stages which will help you plan and manage your career development

  • Employers have a set of standards, including one on supervision, designed to provide you with proper support

PCF domains and levels help you see what is expected for your professional context

  • Supervision and appraisal help you agree your learning objectives which will link to CPD and re-registration
  • Employer identifies organisational need in relation to strategic plan

Employer/organisation’s needs


Relevant capabilities

Individual learning objectives

shadowing what it might involve
Shadowing – what it might involve
  • Accompanying an experienced social worker, including visiting service users
  • Meeting with practitioners and managers — this could be formally structured as seminars, opportunity to review procedures etc
  • Meeting service users, possibly talking about their experience of social work interventions (e.g. planned visits to day care centres, residential units, voluntary agencies, arranged with due regard to ethical considerations, especially the rights and wishes of the service users themselves)
developing a cv
Developing a CV
  • Your CV is your shop window in which you advertise yourself and what you have to offer
  • Employers only look at an application for a job for about 30 seconds before deciding whether to look deeper, so it pays to get it right and capture their attention
  • Sending out a generic CV to lots of employers is unlikely to get you a job
what needs to be included
What needs to be included?
  • Personal details: name, address, telephone number
  • Educational background: secondary education, further education
  • Employment history: where you have worked, for how long and an overview of what the work entailed
  • Other achievements
  • References
what you could also include
What you could also include
  • Personal statement: a paragraph describing the type of person you are and how your personality and experience make you an ideal candidate
  • Hobbies/interests
  • In-house training
things to consider
Things to consider
  • Choose a clear layout
  • Show what makes you unique
  • Tailor your CV to your audience
  • Keep it error-free
  • Keep your CV up to date
clear layout
Clear layout
  • Easy to read
  • Sections are separated
  • Chronological
  • Same format
what makes you unique
What makes you unique?
  • Consider your unique selling points (USP)
  • What are your skills?
  • What benefits do you bring?
  • Back this up with examples to demonstrate what you have done and how you have done it
tailoring your cv
Tailoring your CV
  • Consider the different types of social work roles in relation to children or young people in the jobs you are applying for
  • Consider the qualities and skills required in the person specification
  • Adapt each section so it reflects the skills required in the personal statement/job description
  • Meeting the person specification is key
perfecting your cv
Perfecting your CV
  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Avoid waffling
  • Don’t miss out important information
  • Highlight duties not achievements
  • No longer than two sides of A4 if possible
perfecting your cv cont
Perfecting your CV (cont.)
  • Correct personal details
  • Keep it specific
  • Attend to it regularly
  • No need to redesign each time you want to use it
applying for jobs
Applying for jobs
  • Look carefully at the qualities and skills required in the person specification for the job you are interested in
  • Adapt each section of your generic CV so it reflects the skills required in the person specification/job description
  • Adapt your personal statement to highlight the experience you bring that matches the job description
  • Leave out information that is not relevant and keep what you say sharp and to the point
  • Spell check and grammar check what you have written
  • Ask someone else to check it before you send it
module 2 understanding the pcf

Module 2:Understanding the PCF

Return to Social Work:

Learning Materials


- is the sole framework for social work education and professional development

- is owned by TCSW

- is mapped to the HCPC standards of proficiency for social workers


A framework for all social workers

  • A professional development framework not an occupational framework
  • Not linked to job titles or grades
  • Progression between levels characterised by ability to manage increasing complexity, risk and autonomous decision making
  • A generic framework that applies to all social workers in all work settings
understanding the pcf
Understanding the PCF

PCF articulates and exemplifies complexity and interdependency of skills, knowledge and values needed for effective social work practice

The nine domains should be seen as interdependent, not separate: they interact in professional practice, so there are overlaps between the capabilities

Many issues arising from practice will be relevant to more than one capability

Understanding of what a social worker does can only be gained by taking into account all nine capabilities

domains within the pcf
Domains within the PCF

Nine omains

Interactive and reflect the range of capabilities professional social workers need

Each domain has a main statement and an elaboration with further detailed capabilities at each level explaining how social workers should expect to evidence that area in practice

Practitioners need to demonstrate integration of all aspects of learning, and provide sufficient evidence across all nine domains to demonstrate capability

  • Nine levels – qualifying through to strategic level
  • Qualifying level mapped to HCPC SoPs
  • Levelof individual social worker determined by their abilities to work with issues of complexity, ambiguity, risk, confidence, autonomous decision making, professional authority and leadership
  • Progression routes across levels

Example of levels drawn from PCF Domain 7

Intervention and Skills: Use judgement and authority to intervene with individuals, families and communities to promote independence, provide support and prevent harm, neglect and abuse


4. RIGHTS, JUSTICE AND ECONOMIC WELLBEING - Advance human rights and promote social justice and economic wellbeing

Social workers recognise the fundamental principles of human rights and equality, and that these are protected in national and international law, conventions and policies. They ensure these principles underpin their practice. Social workers understand the importance of using and contributing to case law and applying these rights in their own practice. They understand the effects of oppression, discrimination and poverty.

using pcf and critical incidents for planning cpd
Using PCF and critical incidents for planning CPD
  • Identify an important issue, item or event
  • What do you need to learn from this?
  • What capability will it help you to develop?
  • What action will you take to learn it?
  • What evidence will you produce that learning has taken place and impacted on your practice?
  • How long do you think you will have to spend on undertaking this learning?

What a CPD plan might look like

– social work level

  • Social worker two years after graduation has successfully completed ASYE (i.e. at social worker level in PCF)
  • Through supervision recognises need to enhance more specialist skills in dealing with safeguarding and abuse
  • Checks capabilities in PCF domains of knowledge, diversity, skills and interventions
  • CPD action plan:
    • Read serious case reviews
    • Bring to team meeting/action learning set
    • Research re child trafficking and law
    • Reflection and recording of how this will be used in future work

What a CPD plan might look like –

Experienced social worker

  • Social worker aspires to become first line manager
  • Through supervision recognises need to understand and develop management skills and perspectives
  • Checks capabilities across PCF domains at experienced social worker and social work manager level to identify capabilities to focus on for development
  • CPD action plan:
    • Attend in-house frontline managers’ course
    • Develop and reflect on critical incident reports for discussion at supervision to identify management aspects
    • Reflection on how management skills are used in supervision to aid professional development

What a CPD plan might look like – Advanced Practitioner

  • Mental Health social worker and AMHP working in NHS trust at experienced social worker level
  • Learning objective to develop systemic approach and skills to be able to intervene more effectively, and be able to apply for an advanced practitioner post if this becomes available
  • Check capabilities across PCF domains at experienced social worker level to identify capabilities to focus on for development
  • CPD action plan:
    • Undertake qualifying course as a systemic therapist, applying for part funding from employer CPD funds
    • Arrange for supervision from systemically trained therapist, and agreed with line manager to take on two cases from the team for longer-term work
    • Agreed to provide training sessions for main team on systems working, and support others to develop their understanding and skills
module 3 reflective self

Module 3: Reflective Self

Return to Social Work:

Learning Materials

pcf domain 6
PCF Domain 6


Apply critical reflection and analysis to inform and provide a rationale for professional decision making

advantages of learning to reflect
Advantages of learning to reflect
  • Developing strategies for good emotional self-management – supervision, support, using a diary, taking leave, prioritising etc
  • Recognising signs of burnout such as frustration, exhaustion, irritation and cynicism about the job
  • Relishing challenge such as taking opportunities for continual growth
  • Feeling you have a sense of control
  • Learning to deal with conflict.
aspects of supervision
Aspects of supervision
  • Line management: accountability for practice and quality of service, including managing team resources, delegation and workload management, performance appraisal, duty of care, support and other people-management processes.
  • Professional supervision (sometimes described as case supervision) to enable and support quality practice including reviewing and reflecting on practice issues such as roles and relationships, evaluating the outcomes of the work and maximising opportunities for wider learning.
  • Continuing professional development of workers to ensure they have the relevant skills, knowledge, understanding and attributes to do the job and progress their careers, including giving constructive feedback and observation of practice.
supervision and practice quality
Supervision and practice quality
  • Role clarity: for both supervisor and supervisee.
  • Role security: for supervisee, which comes from a combination of knowledge, skills, experience and support, and appropriate workload.
  • Emotional competence and empathy: which contributes to secure and collaborative working relationship.
  • Accurate observation and assessment: as the basis for future development.
  • Partnership and power: facilitation and direction appropriately balanced and managed by the supervisor.
  • Coaching: the supervisor has a key role in the development of the supervisee’s practice skills through a combination of modelling, practice observation, feedback, reflection and problem solving.
  • Planning: developing timely and appropriate plans and monitoring continuous professional development.
managing learning through professional supervision
Managing learning through professional supervision
  • Core and pivotal activity in delivering services
  • Bridge between managers and practitioners
  • To develop self-awareness in terms of approach and evidence base
  • Understanding of role in assessing and identifying need
  • Know how to respond to concerns raised by service users and carers, other practitioners and the community
  • Recognise their limitations and when to call on the expertise of others
national reference to the importance of supervision
National reference to the importance of supervision
  • 2003: Victoria Climbié Inquiry Report stated that supervision is a‘cornerstone of all good social work practice’ and recommended that all staff working directly with childrenmust be regularly supervised
  • 2013… Working Together to Safeguard Children
  • 2011: Munro Review
why is supervision important
Why is supervision important?
  • Effective supervision ensures that staff feel valued, prepared, supported and committed and also reduces rates of staff turnover
  • Quality of supervision can be a critical factor in staff retention
  • Lack of supervision can result in work overload, stress, sickness, absence, as well as depletion of personal and professional competence and confidence
  • These factors, in turn, impact on the very qualities that users repeatedly stress as important: courtesy, willingness to listen, warmth, accessibility, clarity and knowledge
management of supervision sessions
Management of supervision sessions
  • Supervision agreement – with your supervisor setting out roles, responsibilities and expectations
  • Agenda – for each session to ensure you manage the time effectively and cover all relevant aspects
  • Record – agreed actions and other outcomes to help you with learning and practice development
making the most of supervision
Making the most of supervision
  • Prepare
  • Be ready to share your thoughts and ideas
  • Be open about what has gone well and what you have found difficult
  • Be ready to plan and undertake development activities as agreed with your supervisor
  • Check and read the notes of your meetings and make sure you follow through and complete actions
  • Reflect on each session and use it as a springboard for the next
multi agency working
Multi-agency working
  • Improve systems of sharing information
  • Improve working relationships
  • Establish a common assessment framework
difficulties in multi agency working
Difficulties in multi-agency working
  • The structural separation between organisations
  • Differences in status and power
  • Professional identity and territory
  • Differences in accountability between professionals
  • Difficulty in evaluating the professional opinions of others
assessing information from multiple sources effectively
Assessing information from multiple sources effectively
  • Judge the quality, importance and relevance of each piece of information
  • Judge the integrity of the sources – is this from a reliable and trustworthy source
  • Try to see the meaning of the situation for the person involved
  • Bear in mind the legal component and the social work role
  • Bear in mind the research and knowledge base.
planning interventions and analysing information
Planning interventions and analysing information

Analyse information by looking at how the child’s needs for safety and well-being are addressed:

  • Which of the child’s needs are currently being met and how?
  • What are the consequences for the child if each particular need continues to be met to the same standard as now:

(a) in the short term

(b) in the long term?

from analysis to intervention
From analysis to intervention
  • What are the options for interventions which might (a) help support strengths and/or (b) help meet the unmet needs?
  • Which met/unmet need is each intervention targeted towards?
  • What resources are available?
  • Which of those available is the family most likely to co-operate with?
  • Which intervention is likely to produce the most immediate benefit and which might take time?
multi agency assessment is
Multi-agency assessment is…
  • Multi-agency assessment is an ongoing process
  • It requires particular skills
  • It requires an understanding of child development
  • Assessment in child care operates best within an evidence-based, partnership working, multi-agency model
multi agency working1
Multi-agency working

To improve multi-agency working, Beattie (1994) suggests the need to address:

  • Disparities in organisational arrangements including such issues as autonomy, accountability, pay, management and planning
  • Competing professional rationales
  • Psychodynamics of interpersonal relations – the personal interaction of individuals
how to thrive in social work
How to thrive in social work
  • Developing strategies for good emotional self-management – supervision, support, using a diary, taking leave, prioritising
  • Recognising signs of burnout such as frustration, exhaustion, irritation and cynicism about the job
  • Relishing challenge such as taking opportunities for continual growth
  • Feeling you have a sense of control
  • Learning to deal with conflict
module 4 law

Module 4: Law

Return to Social Work:

Learning Materials

sources of law
Sources of Law
  • Statutes
  • Regulations/Statutory Instruments
  • Case law
  • Guidance
  • Directions
human rights act 1998
Human Rights Act 1998

Article 2: Right to life

Article 3: Prohibition of torture, inhuman treatment

Article 4: Prohibition of slavery or forced labour

Article 5: Right to liberty and security of person

Article 6: Right to a fair trial

Article 7: Prohibition of retrospective legislation

Article 8: Right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence

Article 9: Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

Article 10: Freedom of expression

Article 11: Freedom of assembly and association

Article 12: Freedom from discrimination in the delivery of these rights

united nations convention on the rights of the child
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Definition of the child (Article 1) – under the age of 18
  • Non-discrimination (Article 2) – no child will be treated unfairly on any basis
  • Best interest of the child (Article 3) – primary concern in decisions affecting them
  • Right to life, survival and development (Article 6) – governments should ensure children survive and develop
  • Respect for the views of the child (Article 12) – a right to express opinion and have it taken into account

The ‘3 Ps’ - Protection, Provision and Participation rights

powers and duties
Powers and duties


local authorities are required to provide a particular service or response


local authorities can act but there is not a legal obligation to do so

local authority responsibilities
Local authority responsibilities
  • Compulsory intervention in family life is to be minimised and practitioners should provide services through negotiation and partnership
  • Services must be provided to keep families together
  • Resources should target families in need to prevent children being separated from their parents
local authority duties
Local authority duties
  • Through the provision of services, to prevent children suffering ill-treatment or neglect
  • To reduce the need to bring care or supervision proceedings, or criminal proceedings, against children
  • Identify extent of ‘children in need’ in their area
  • Publish information of services available
  • Maintain a register of disabled children
  • Where appropriate provide family centres offering a range of services
local authority powers
Local authority powers
  • Day care for the under fives
  • Care or supervised activities out of school hours
  • Accommodation for children under 16, with parental agreement, if this promotes the child’s welfare
  • Accommodation for 16–21 year olds without parental consent
children act 19891
Children Act 1989

Welfare Principle – section 1(1)

Welfare Checklist (s1(3))

  • The child’s ascertainable wishes and feelings in the light of his age and understanding
  • His physical, emotional and educational needs
  • The likely effect of any change in circumstances
  • His age, sex, background and any other characteristics that may be relevant
  • Any harm suffered, or at risk of suffering
  • The capability of each parent and any other relevant person
children act 19892
Children Act 1989

No delay principle (section 1(2)):

It is recognised that time delays in making decisions can have a detrimental effect on the wellbeing and welfare of children and young people

No order principle (section 1(5)):

Any order made under the Act needs to consider whether it is better for the child to make the order than make no order at all

parental responsibility pr
Parental responsibility (PR)
  • Mother (automatic unless child is adopted or mother is a surrogate)
  • Father (if married, jointly registers birth, or has a PR agreement/court order)
  • Adoptive parents (at which point the birth parents lose PR)
  • Local authority (where child is subject to a care order)
  • Person with a residence order
  • Guardian/special guardian (appointed by the courts)
private law orders section 8
Private law orders: Section 8

Residence order

Contact order

Prohibited steps order

Specific issue order

section 16 family assistance orders
Section 16: Family assistance orders
  • Can only be made if those involved agree and can be made by the court in any family proceedings
  • Requires a social worker to advise, assist and befriend the family for a period of up to 12 months
public law orders plos
Public law orders (PLOs)
  • Section 20: Accommodation
  • Section 23: Fostering
  • Section 25: Secure accommodation order
  • Section 31: Full care order
  • Section 34: Contact order
  • Section 35: Supervision order
  • Section 38: Interim care order
  • Section 43: Child assessment order
  • Section 44: Emergency protection order
  • Section 46: Police protection
section 47 child protection
Section 47: Child protection

There is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm in the form of physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect.

Following an emergency protection order (EPO) or PPOP (police powers of protection).

A child breaches curfew criteria in which case the response must be initiated within 48 hours of receipt of the information (added by s.1 (4) Crime and Disorder Act 1998).

section 17 child in need
Section 17: Child in Need

A child in need is defined under section 17:

  • A child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or have the opportunity to do so, a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision of local authority services; or
  • A child whose health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without the provision of local authority services; or
  • A child who is disabled.
special guardianship
Special guardianship
  • Any guardian of the child (but not his parents);
  • A local authority foster carer with who the child has resided for one year prior to the order being made
  • Anyone who holds a residence order
  • Anyone the child has lived with for three of the last five years
  • Anyone who has the consent of all those with PR
  • Anyone, including the child, who has court leave to apply
adoption and children act 2002
Adoption and Children Act 2002
  • Ensuring the child’s welfare is paramount, in line with the Children Act 1989
  • Placing a duty on local authorities to maintain an adoption service and provide adoption support services
  • Enabling adoption orders to be made in favour of single people, married and unmarried couples and removing the previous policies of some adoption agencies to ban certain groups from adopting children
  • Introducing guidelines for a more consistent assessment process across the country
  • Introducing an independent review mechanism for potential adopters who believe they have been turned down unfairly
adoption and children act 20021
Adoption and Children Act 2002
  • Introducing a new system for accessing information held in adoption agency records, including the disclosure and protection of information about adopted children and young people and their birth relatives
  • Establishing an Adoption and Children Act register to facilitate links between children and potential adopters
  • Introduced the special guardianship order by amending the Children Act 1989
  • Replaced previous arrangements for freeing children for adoption with a new placement order
  • Regulates inter-country adoption, the advertising of children for adoption and any payments made in connection with an adoption
  • Giving unmarried fathers who jointly register the birth of their child PR, and introducing arrangements for step-fathers to acquire PR
principles of adoption
Principles of adoption

Paramountcy principle s1(2)

Diversity principle s1(5)

Welfare principle s1(4)

local safeguarding children boards lscbs
Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs)

How the agencies in each locality come together and agree how they will work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in their area

Common policies, procedures and training requirements are all agreed by the LSCB

children and families bill 20131
Children and Families Bill 2013
  • Adoption and Virtual School Head
  • Family justice system reforms
  • Special educational needs (SEN)
  • Improvement to quality and availability of childcare
  • Office of the Children’s Commissioner
  • Shared parental leave
module 5 equality and diversity

Module 5: Equality and Diversity

Return to Social Work:

Learning Materials

defining the terms
Defining the terms
  • Equality focuses on creating a fairer society, where all individuals can take part in and access the same opportunities
  • Diversity literally means difference, and is concerned with the range and variety of individuals and groups
equality act 2010 protected characteristics
Equality Act 2010: Protected characteristics



Gender reassignment

Marriage and civil partnership

Pregnancy and maternity


Religion or belief


Sexual orientation

discrimination under the equality act 2010
Discrimination under the Equality Act 2010
  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation
  • Failing to make reasonable adjustments
types of power hassenfeld 1987
Types of power(Hassenfeld, 1987)

Power of expertise

Referent power

Legitimate power

Power of resources

defining oppression
Defining oppression

Oppression is defined by Barker (2003) as:

‘…the social act of placing severe restrictions on an individual, group, or institution.’

‘The oppressed individual or group is devalued, exploited, and deprived of privileges by the individual or group who has more power’ (pp306-307).

anti oppressive approaches
Anti-oppressive approaches
  • Implementation of social justice
  • Challenges the structure of structure
  • Challenges the use of power
  • Improving life chances
  • Intrinsic value of a diverse society
anti discriminatory practice
Anti-discriminatory practice
  • Core of social work values
  • Seeks to reduce, undermine or eliminate discrimination
  • Reducing the barriers that prevent access to services
thompson s pcs model
Thompson’s PCS Model

Source: Thompson, 2005.

diversity dimensions
Diversity dimensions
  • Dimensions determined by birth
  • Dimensions which evolve through life
  • Dimensions which are influenced by experience
working with diversity1
Working with diversity

SCIE/NICE recommendations:

  • Core assessments should contain an accurate and comprehensive picture of the child or young person’s needs relating to their cultural, religious and ethnic identity, and pay particular attention to race, sexual orientation, language, faith and diet
  • The review of the care plan reflects the developing nature of the child or young person’s cultural, religious and ethnic identity and sexual orientation and how these might change as a child or young person grows and matures
working with diversity things to consider
Working with diversity: things to consider
  • Language and communication
  • How religious needs impact on day-to-day existence and functioning
  • The core values individuals hold
  • Impact of culture or traditional beliefs
  • Previous experience of state intervention
  • Impact and experience of racism
  • Family structures, roles and responsibilities
  • Help-seeking behaviour
  • Lifestyle
  • Cultural parenting practices
module 6 social policy

Module 6:Social Policy

Return to Social Work:

Learning Materials

social work practice context
Social work practice context

Legal frameworks

Statutory guidance

Social policy

Evidence base

socio economic context
Socio-economic context
  • Public spending
  • National deficit
  • Ageing population
  • Unemployment
  • Housing
  • Welfare reform
key themes policy development
Key themes: Policy development
  • Rights of children
  • Protection and prevention
  • Responsibilities of the professional
  • Relationship with children, families, and multi-agency
  • Participation and the child’s voice
  • Provision of support
  • Alternatives to care
  • Permanency for the child
social policy and the courts
Social policy and the courts
  • Stability and permanence for the child
  • Reduction of delays
  • Cost efficiency
  • Minimising conflict
  • Coherent structure and planning process
adoption reform
Adoption reform
  • Reducing delays
  • Cost efficiency
  • Voice of the child
  • Permanence

‘…delay in decision making and action has an unacceptable price in terms of the reduction in children’s life chances and the financial costs to local authorities, the emotional and financial burden later placed on adoptive families and future costs to society.’

(Selwyn et al, 2006)

family justice review 2011
Family Justice Review 2011
  • Welfare principle
  • Family focus – best option if possible
  • Safety and protection
  • Child’s needs come first in court
  • Child’s voice
  • Judicial independence
revised public law outline plo
Revised public law outline (PLO)
  • Pre-proceedings
  • Letter before proceedings
  • PLO file documents
          • The social work chronology
          • The social work statement
          • The social work genogram
          • Any current assessment
          • The threshold statement
          • The care plan
          • The allocation proposal form
voice of the child
Voice of the child

Munro (2011) – in cases where social work has not protected the child, the child’s voice has been lost.

  • Central to social work practice
  • Central focus of policy direction
  • Highlighted as missing in SCRs
  • Reflected in assessments and planning
  • Focus on communication skills
outcomes for looked after children
Outcomes for looked after children

Source: Department for Education (2012) Statistical First Release, SFR 32/2012

duty to care leavers
Duty to care leavers
  • Retain contact with care leavers until they are at least 21 years old
  • Duty to advise, assist and befriend
  • Pathway and support plan
  • Supporting transition to independence
messages from care leavers
Messages from care leavers

‘I no longer need to be in control. I’ve learned to relax’

‘My bad experiences meant I can help others’

‘I received a bursary from the Kennedy Foundation to attend university next year, one of only ten bursaries awarded nationally’

learning from scrs
Learning from SCRs
  • Lack of effective communication and planning
  • Inaccurate or inadequate recording
  • The child has not been seen and is not central
  • The child’s voice has been lost
  • Failure to exercise legal duties
  • Supervision as a safeguard
  • Critical analysis
the child is not seen
The child is ‘not seen’
  • Recurring theme
  • Resistant parents
  • Disguised compliance
  • Active avoidance

‘…‘seeing’ is ‘[to] see the situation from the child\'s perspective and experiences to see and speak to the children, to listen to what is said, to observe how they were and to take serious account of their views in supporting their needs.’

(Ofsted, 2008 p18)

working with diversity2
Working with diversity
  • Multicultural communities
  • Delivery of welfare
  • Access to services
  • Vulnerability and health inequalities
  • Considering culture
  • Communication
considering specific groups
Considering specific groups

Asylum seeking and refugee children

Young offenders

Children’s mental health

module 7 communication and partnership working with service users

Module 7: Communication and Partnership Working with Service Users

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Two way process involving:

  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Non-verbal cues
  • Tone of voice
  • Language

55% 38% 7%

Non Verbal Tone Words

* Rush (1989)

Congruence between each element required

types of interviews
Types of interviews

Seeking information

Providing information

Persuasive interviews

Therapeutic interviews

  • Clarity
  • Emphasise positives
  • Be specific
  • Be descriptive
  • Focus on the behaviour rather than the person
  • Acknowledge all behaviour can be changed
  • Use positive language
  • Own the feedback
  • Clarity about the issues/disagreements
  • Clarity about boundaries (who is responsible for what)
  • Prepared to listen with an open mind
  • Able to act with tact and forethought
  • Prepared to compromise
  • Able to assert own needs wishes and feelings
  • Aware of differences in values and culture
  • Clarity about outcomes and agreements reached
  • Able to carry out commitments made
emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence
  • Understanding of self, including emotional triggers and default responses
  • Being comfortable with working with strong emotions
  • Awareness of own values
  • Awareness of how others view you
what do children and young people v alue
What do children and young people value?
  • Time
  • Relationships, trust and honesty
  • Active listening
  • Choice, information and preparation
  • Support and encouragement
  • Activities
  • Fun
  • Child’s agenda
  • Risk taking
practical c onsiderations language barriers
Practical considerations: language barriers
  • Check the interpreter and service user speak same language/dialect
  • Allow time for pre-interview discussion with the interpreter
  • Encourage the interpreter to interrupt when necessary
  • Use straightforward language
  • Actively listen to the interpreter and the service user
  • Allow enough time for the interview
  • At the end of the interview check understanding
  • Have a post-event session with the interpreter
what is resistance
What is resistance?
  • Verbal and non-verbal behaviors
  • Expected and normal
  • Function of interpersonal communication
  • Continued resistance predictive of reduced change
  • Resistance is highly responsive to worker style
  • Getting resistance? Change strategies
resistant behaviours
Disguised compliance





Taking over

Not responding

Resistant behaviours
recording and record keeping
Recording and record keeping
  • Evidencing child’s needs are met
  • Provides a clear history
  • Supports continuity of service
  • Provides evidence of work
  • Provides monitoring and performance information
  • Provides an audit trail for inspection
report writing
Report writing
  • Who is the report for?
  • What is its purpose?
  • Who will read the report?
  • What is already known about the family and individuals?
  • Who else is involved with the family?
report writing good practice
Report writing good practice
  • Use of appropriate language
  • Structure and flow – headings and titles
  • Evidence-based and concise
  • Differentiating fact and opinion
  • Professional status and qualification
  • Signing and dating
  • Succinct and to the point
report writing good practice cont
Report writing good practice (cont.)
  • Clear analysis
  • Balanced strengths and risks
  • Links with relevant theories (e.g. attachment), recent research findings and best practice models
  • Consider the views, wishes and feelings of the child and the views, wishes and feelings of other family members
  • Put forward a clear proposal and recommendations
defensible assessments
Defensible assessments
  • Use facts to back up opinions
  • Provide reasons for the judgements
  • Use clear logical explanations to back up what you think
  • Avoid assumptions, generalisations and promote anti-discriminatory practice
analysis of information
Analysis of information
  • Gather information from all available sources
  • Prioritise information according to its relevance
  • Piece it together
  • Identify inconsistency
  • Compare the sources of information
  • Separate fact from fiction
  • Build up evidence
  • Provide your option
module 8 safeguarding and corporate parenting

Module 8: Safeguarding and Corporate Parenting

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principles of safeguarding
Principles of safeguarding
  • Protect children from maltreatment
  • Prevent the impairment of children’s health and development
  • Ensure children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • Take action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
working together to safeguard children 2013
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013)

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility

Child-centred approach

statutory assessment under the children act 1989
Statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989
  • The child requires immediate protection and urgent action is needed
  • The child is in need, and should be assessed under section 17 (child in need)
  • Enquiries should be made and the child assessed under section 47 (child protection enquiries)
  • Any services required by the child and their family
aims of the munro review
Aims of the Munro Review

‘…to create the conditions that enable professions to make the best judgements about the help given to children, young people and families (and move) from a system that has become over-bureaucratised and focused on compliance.’

(Executive Summary p6)

‘For some children, a brief assessment is all that is required prior to offering services and for others the assessment needs to be in more depth... A decision about the depth and breadth of an assessment should be made at a local level.’

(Munro Review p41)

working together to safeguard children 2013 approach to assessment
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013): Approach to assessment
  • Maximum timescale for the assessment to conclude should be no longer than 45 working days from the point of referral
  • There will no longer be a requirement to conduct separate initial and core assessments
  • Local authorities and their partners should develop and publish local protocols for assessment
significant harm
Significant harm
  • Harm is defined in the Children Act 1989 section 31(9) as:
        • Ill treatment (including sexual and physical abuse)
        • Impairment of health (physical or mental) or development (physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural)
        • As compared to a similar child
  • This includes the impairment of a child’s health or development as a result of witnessing the ill-treatment of another person
types of abuse
Types of abuse

Physical abuse

Emotional abuse

Sexual abuse


deciding to call a strategy meeting
Deciding to call a strategy meeting
  • Seriousness of the concern(s)
  • Repetition or duration of concern(s)
  • Vulnerability of child
  • Source of concern(s)
  • Accumulation of sufficient information
  • Context in which the child is living (e.g. a child in the household already subject of a current child protection plan)
  • Predisposing factors in the family that may suggest a higher level of risk of harm
section 47 enquiries
Section 47 enquiries

Where there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm in the form of physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect’.

cultural sensitivity
Cultural sensitivity
  • Parenting may be shared more widely within kinship networks
  • Households may include non-relatives and may be more fluid
  • It may be unacceptable to express feelings openly
  • There may be less tradition of using public services
  • Adolescents may be more likely to have family obligations and less ‘freedom’
increased vulnerability to suffering harm
Increased vulnerability to suffering harm

Children may be more vulnerable to being harmed if they are:

  • Babies
  • Disabled children
  • Children who are picked on as being different
child protection conference
Child protection conference
  • Analyse, in an inter-agency setting, all the relevant information and plan how best to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child
  • Appoint a lead statutory body
  • Identify members of the core group
  • Establish timescales for the meetings
  • Agree an outline child protection plan
the child protection plan and core group
The child protection plan and core group
  • Ensure the child is safe from harm and prevent them suffering more harm
  • Promote the child’s health and development
  • Support the family to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare, provided it is in the child’s best interests
the child protection review conference
The child protection review conference
  • Review whether the child is continuing to suffer or is likely significant harm
  • Review developmental progress against child protection plan outcomes
  • Consider whether the child protection plan should continue or be changed
learning from serious case reviews scrs
Learning from serious case reviews (SCRs)
  • Vulnerability of young children to physical assault
  • Need better responses to older children
  • Obtain and take account of children\'s views
  • Vulnerability of disabled children to abuse
munro child centred practice
Munro: child-centred practice
  • The child was not seen frequently enough by the professionals involved or was not asked about their views and feelings
  • Agencies did not listen to adults who tried to speak on behalf of the child
  • Parents and carers prevented professionals from seeing and listening to the child
  • Practitioners focused too much on the needs of the parents, especially vulnerable parents, and overlooked the implications for the child
  • Agencies did not interpret their findings well enough to protect the child
munro key principles
Munro: key principles
  • Child-centred system
  • Family is usually the best place to bring up children
  • Helping children and families involves working with them
  • Early help is better for children
  • Children’s needs are varied and system needs to offer equal variety
  • Good practice is informed by theory and research
  • Measure of success is whether children and receiving effective help
looked after children legal framework
Looked after children:legal framework
  • Children Act 1989
  • Children Act 2004
  • Children Leaving Care Act 2002
looked after children entry routes
Looked after children: entry routes
  • Short breaks
  • Accommodation
  • Care and related orders
  • Offending
corporate parenting1
Corporate parenting

‘…the collective responsibilities of local authorities to provide quality care and achieve good outcomes for looked after children and young people leaving care. Local authorities are required to do all that a good parent would do.’

(Cocker and Allain, 2008)

corporate parenting priority areas
Corporate parenting: priority areas
  • Joined up children’s services
  • To enable looked after children to achieve stability (two years in same placement)
  • To keep looked after children in their social networks and neighbourhoods
factors affecting outcomes
Factors affecting outcomes
  • Instability
  • Time out of school
  • Help with education
  • Support and encouragement
  • Emotional, mental and physical health
what do children need
What do children need?
  • Vigilance
  • Understanding and action
  • Stability
  • Respect
  • Information and engagement
  • Explanation
  • Support
  • Advocacy
module 9 children in need

Module 9: Children in Need

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a child is in need if
A child is in need if:
  • Unlikely to achieve or maintain, or have the opportunity to do so, a reasonable standard of health or development
  • Their health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired
  • They are disabled
causes of need
Causes of need
  • The child has an intrinsic need
  • The child is in need because of parental illness, mental or physical, addiction, depression or stress
  • The child is in need because of family stress
  • The child is in need because of offending behaviour
  • The child is in need because of social deprivation
early help
Early help
  • Identify children and families who would benefit from early help
  • Undertake an assessment of the need for early help
  • Provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family
child development1
Child development

Early years

School years


early years
Early years
  • Early attachment to caregivers
  • Gross and fine motor skills development
  • Communication and early language
  • Increasingly complex emotional expression
  • Ability to differentiate self from others
school years
School years
  • Focus on friendships with peers
  • Development of more complex physical capabilities and co-ordination
  • Greater mood stability and the beginning of capacity for empathy and worry
  • Establishment of values
  • Able to regulate behaviour appropriately
  • Able to communicate ideas and express wishes
  • Literacy and numeracy skills become established
  • Forming a cohesive sense of self-identity
  • Increasing ability to reason about hypothetical events
  • Forming close friendships within and across gender
  • Academic achievement (learning skills required for further education and work)
  • Frequently questioning the belief system of their own upbringing
  • Period of experimentation
attachment theory1
Attachment theory
  • Phase 1 (0-3 months) – indiscriminate responsiveness
  • Phase 2 (3-6 months) – focusing on familiar people
  • Phase 3 (6 months - 3 years) – active proximity seeking
  • Phase 4 (3 years - end of childhood) – partnership behaviour
attachment styles
Attachment styles


Insecure avoidant

Insecure ambivalent


stages of cognitive development
Stages of cognitive development
  • Sensory-motor (0 -18 months)
  • Pre-operational (18 months - 7 years)
  • Concrete operations ( 7-12 years)
  • Formal operations (12 years onwards)
identifying stressors
Identifying stressors


  • Money concerns/debt
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Bereavement
  • Long working hours
  • Unemployment
  • Lack of social support
  • Domestic violence
  • Poor housing
  • Ill health
  • Lack of bonding/attachment


  • Bereavement
  • Marital breakdown
  • Parental illness
  • Carer responsibilities
  • Bullying at school
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty
  • Lack of bonding/attachment
promoting resilience1
Promoting resilience


  • Family understanding of mental illness
  • Satisfying employment
  • Good physical health
  • Professional, personal and community support
  • Parental bonding/ attachment


  • Secure and reliable family base
  • Relationships that promote self-esteem
  • Sense of control
  • Environments that promote self-efficacy
  • Parental bonding/ attachment
  • Other family relationships
resilience children who adapt well
Resilience: Children who adapt well
  • Older age at onset of parental illness
  • More sociable, able to engage adults, easier temperament
  • Greater cognitive abilities
  • Discrete episodes of parental illness with good return of skills and abilities between episodes
  • Alternative support from adults with whom child has positive, trusting relationship
  • Experience of success outside the home (educational, social, sporting, hobbies)
parenting capacity risk factors1
Parenting capacity: risk factors
  • Parental mental ill health
  • Parental substance misuse
  • Domestic violence
the family model scie 2011
The Family Model (SCIE, 2011)

Crossing Bridges Family Model - Parental mental illness:

  • Can impact on the development, and in some cases safety of children
  • Can impact on adjustment in adulthood and transition into parenthood
  • Children (especially those with emotional, behavioural or chronic physical difficulties) can precipitate or exacerbate mental ill health in parents/carers
  • Adverse circumstances influence child and parental mental health
parental substance misuse risk factors
Parental substance misuse: risk factors

Children are most likely to be at risk of harm from parental substance abuse if:

  • A child’s physical safety is disregarded while drug use is taking place and parents do not store drugs and equipment safely
  • Changes in parent’s mood or behaviour have an impact on the child
  • Parental drug use disrupts normal daily routines
  • The child is in a household where illegal activity is taking place (e.g. dealing).
domestic abuse effects on children
Domestic abuse: effects on children
  • Physical injury
  • Psychological distress
  • Poor general health
  • Truancy and difficulties at school
  • Hyperactivity
  • Low self-esteem
  • Assuming a parental role
family and environmental factors
Family and environmental factors
  • Family history and functioning
  • Wider family
  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Income
  • Family’s social integration
  • Community resources.
module 10 working in organisations

Module 10: Working in Organisations

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organisations statutory duties
Organisations: statutory duties

Section 18 Children Act 2004:

Director of Children’s Services responsibility to ensure local authorities meet their duty to organise and plan services, safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people

Section 11 Children Act 2004:

Duty on organisations to ensure functions and services (delivered and contracted out) are discharged, having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children

section 11 duties
Section 11 duties
  • Clear lines of accountability to senior level
  • Culture of listening to children
  • Information sharing
  • Designated professional lead
  • Safer recruitment
  • Supervision and support
  • Mandatory induction includes safeguarding
  • Policies aligned to LSCB
early childhood services dfe 2013
Early childhood services (DfE, 2013)
  • Early years provision
  • Social services functions of the local authority relating to young children, parents and prospective parents
  • Health services relating to young children, parents and prospective parents
  • Training and employment services to assist parents or prospective parents
  • Information and advice services for parents and prospective parents
local authority designated officer lado
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

The LADO should be notified if a person who works with children:

  • Is alleged to have behaved in a way which has harmed, or may harm, a child
  • Is suspected to have committed a criminal offence against children, or related to children
  • Has behaved towards a child/children in a way that suggests they are unsuitable to work with children.


independent reviewing officers iros
Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs)
  • Section 118 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002
  • Local authority legal duty to appoint IRO for looked after children
  • Goal of improving outcomes for looked after children
  • Focus on ensuring children’s wishes and feelings are considered in any processes
multi agency working2
Multi-agency working
  • Information sharing and communication
  • Organisational cultures, priorities and values
  • Demands on resources
  • Clarity of roles and responsibilities
signs of tension and conflict
Signs of tension and conflict
  • Colleagues not speaking/ignoring each other
  • Contradicting and negativity within responses
  • Deliberately undermining or not co-operating
  • Cliques or faction meetings to discuss issues separately
  • Deliberately excluding from meetings/decision making those that have important information
improving partnership working
Improving partnership working
  • Be proactive
  • Active listening
  • Professional assertiveness
  • SMART objectives
  • Facing the difficulty head on
seven golden rules for information sharing
Seven golden rules for information sharing
  • Data Protection Act is not a barrier: it is a framework
  • Open and honest from the outset
  • Seek advice if in doubt
  • Share with consent where possible
  • Consider safety and wellbeing
  • Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure
  • Keep a record
multi professional meetings
Multi-professional meetings
  • Strategy meeting
  • Initial child protection conference
  • Core group meetings
  • Child protection review conference
  • Discontinuing the child protection plan
local arrangements
Local arrangements
  • Local threshold document
  • Local protocols for assessment
  • Information sharing protocols