"Newman as a university is a very relaxed place, with a friendly atmosphere. My course is so diverse; it covers so many aspects of working with young people and families. It provides a great opportunity to follow any career path."
Jade Whitelaw– Working with Children, Young People and Families student
Why study Working with Children, Young People and Families?
Supporting children, young people and vulnerable families is an increasingly high profile area of social policy.
This course is one of a small number of Honours degree level programmes designed to give you the knowledge and skills to understand the social, economic, educational, political and cultural issues and barriers facing children, young people and families, particularly in socially disadvantaged areas.
Professionals working with children and young people are increasingly required to have formal qualifications recognising their expertise in these areas.
What does the course cover?
The course looks at social and education policy, and gives you a thorough understanding of the roles and responsibilities of agencies working with children and families including the Children’s Workforce Development Council, Social Services, Local Education Authorities, schools, third sector organisations and the Police. You will examine child development and issues surrounding childhood, family relationships and the psychology of the family and child. You will explore how society views childhood, and the challenging issues facing children and young people today, with specific reference to the experiences of children in past decades.
You will study legislation relating to education, child protection and welfare, health, and diversity. As multi-agency working is essential for the effective support of children and families you will study and evaluate models of inter-agency working, best practice in this area, professional working and collaborative operating. The complex issue of sharing and managing information, including data protection issues, will also be an important area of study. You will understand why such policies are required and how practices designed to protect vulnerable children can become potential barriers to effective collaboration, and how these barriers can be overcome. A major theme throughout the course will be listening to children and young people, making services responsive and developing strategies to enhance children’s and young people’s participation.
What makes this course distinctive?
The tutors on this course have significant experience of public policy and practice. Many are leading experts in their field with national and international profiles in the area. The course provides an opportunity to cover a range of issues and you will be encouraged to develop an area of particular expertise.
All single and combined Honours students at Newman undertake relevant placements as part of their degree, therefore full-time students can gain valuable work experience in a relevant setting and apply the theoretical knowledge gained on the course to real-life scenarios under the supervision of experienced practitioners. Relevant work experience at a high level is essential for people intending to develop their careers in this area. This is why this course has been designed to enable you to gain experience throughout your studies, which will be useful when you are seeking positions after graduation. For part-time students already working in the field the degree ensures that you are aware of the latest developments, cases and practices, and are able to relate this information to your current role or career aspirations.
How will I be assessed?
The course offers a variety of assessment to suit the experience of the module studied, and will include essays, presentations and case studies. Part-time students will relate their studies to their existing roles.
What careers can I consider after this degree?
A wide range of careers are available across a number of environments such as education, health and social care in the public, private and third sectors. Although not a social work degree, the issues covered on this course would be suitable for people considering gaining postgraduate qualifications to become a social worker. Youth work, social policy development, outreach work and working with children are also potential careers for graduates of this degree.
It is intended that graduates from this course will develop into managers working in education, health, or social care capable of dealing with multi-agency working with a range of knowledge and inter-personal skills.
A minimum of 280 UCAS points (which must include minimum grades of BC or above at A2 level), BTEC National Diploma with an overall grade of Distinction Merit Merit, or an Access Diploma with a minimum of 39 credits with Merit or Distinction. If you have a relevant HND or foundation degree qualification you may progress onto the final year of the degree. You will also need five GCSEs at grade C or above, including GCSE English Language, or a recognised equivalent. For alternative qualifications please see our entry requirements page. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance is required.
Working with Children, Young People and Families
Courses at Newman are constantly evolving to reflect changes in the field of study. Therefore, modules listed here are indicative and may be subject to change for each academic year. Some modules are mandatory and some are optional. Not all modules will be available on all routes through the programme you choose, and modules studied will depend on whether you choose minor, joint, major or single honours routes.
Working with Children, Young People and Families: The Social Policy Context
This module will introduce students to some of the key debates around the formation of social policy in areas of importance to children, young people and families. It will encourage students to engage with contested ideas around such issues as poverty, health and well-being, housing and homelessness, crime and urban regeneration and enable them to get an understanding of how the formation of policy in these areas has an impact upon families and individuals. It will also look at how practitioners might influence the social policy debate and in what ways this might change practice and the services that are on offer.
This module aims to provide students with an introduction to the range of factors which can lead to children, young people and families becoming excluded. It will give students the opportunity to explore the value base of good practice in working with children, young people and families, and the ability to reflect upon their own value base and how it influences their approach to working with children young people and families.
Children, Families and Society
This module seeks to introduce the students to some of the key themes of the programme around the complex meanings associated with ‘common sense’ terms such as ‘childhood’, ‘the family’ and ‘parenting skills’.. It seeks to introduce students to sociological and related theory in this area and to make links between the way in which children, young people families are understood in policy discourses and the services which result.
Community, The Individual and Society
This module seeks to introduce the students to the contested ideas of ‘community’ and how children, young people and families can be seen as part of a complex and diverse social environment. The module also looks at these issues of diversity from the perspective of how we develop notions of individual identity. It seeks to introduce students to sociological and related theory in this area and to make links between the way in which children, young people families are understood in policy discourses and the services which result.
Risk Judgement and the Informed Professional
This module is to develop in students the ability to examine the factors that directly impact on risk and professional judgement in work with children, young people and families. Specific consideration is given to how different notions of risk inform and shape professional decision-making. Matters concerned with the ethical dimension of risk taking, issues surrounding professional judgment and the impact of codes of practice are considered. Students will be initially encouraged to consider the range of risks/uncertainties they face in their own lives. Through this approach a ‘typology of risk’ is developed that examines the layered impact of risk in terms of its level of response, presumed seriousness and effective management. Consideration is also given to how risks are debated, contested and pronounced on within the public arena.
This module will focus on the skills of advocacy needed to work more effectively with children and young people. The development of advocacy skills, such as communication, listening and assertiveness will form a central theme. The need to develop an awareness of when intervention is appropriate and when it is not will be emphasised, as well as the importance of knowing when to consult other professionals in the field. Students will also learn to understand when it is important to support and empower children and young people to develop their own skills in becoming their own advocates. As a consequence of this, students will understand that empowerment may involve developing a respect for values other than their own.
Perspectives on Childhood
In this module perspectives of childhood will be explored through a range of formats (workshops, seminars for example). Using a multi-disciplinary approach, the module will promote an understanding of how childhood has changed or is different, in cultural, social and global contexts.
Understanding Research with Children and Young People
This research module is an introductory module that aims to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of research theory, with a particular view to involving children and young people in the conduct of the research process. It examines the aims and objectives of such research and explores the methodologies used. It will explore the ethical procedures that students need to pursue when establishing a research project. Students will understand the nature of research and its relationship to practice. It will also develop students’ ability to collaborate, lead and communicate effectively with children and young people in a variety of contexts.
Designing Research Tools
This research module aims to strengthen students’ knowledge and understanding of research methodologies, with a particular view to designing research tools. Students will also be introduced to the concept of sampling and designing sampling frames. The module will also introduce students to some basics of data analysis, with a view to specifically teaching them about the XSight package to which Newman currently subscribes. Building on the basis of the Theory of Child Centred Research, this module will embed students’ knowledge further in conducting research involving children and young people.
Human Growth and Development
Students will deepen their understanding of theories of human development drawing chiefly on psychological perspectives, but also considering other disciplinary views. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the key influences such as transitions, continuities and discontinuities that may have an impact on a life course. Students will evaluate the role of various factors that contribute to vulnerability and resilience as manifest in life outcomes, and consider children, young people and families as agents for change.
Models of Working with Children Young People and Families
The module aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge and understanding of the complexity and evolving range of models that support the needs of children, young people and families. It aims to introduce students to multi-professional and multi-agency working, drawing on aspects of social policy, pedagogy, research into multi-agency working and existing models to inform their understanding. Students will have the opportunity to a use practical placement to extend their experience, and reflect on implications for their personal and professional development. Students will also develop awareness of the challenges of effective models, drawing on international perspectives, and apply this in the context of the needs of children, young people and families as well as those who work with them.
In particular the way in which childhood is socially constructed within particular contexts and the consequences, particularly the broader ethical, moral and practical consequences of this, will be considered in detail. It will therefore in part seek to utilise international and multi-cultural perspectives to provide comparisons. The use of international material will underpin the debate around the specific socio-legal construction of "childhoods" in particular contexts.
International Perspectives on Practice with Children and Young People
The way in which childhood is socially constructed within particular contexts and the consequences, particularly the broader ethical, moral and practical consequences of this, will be considered in detail throughout this module. It will seek to utilise international and multi-cultural perspectives to provide comparisons.
Safeguarding Children and Young People
This module will provide students with the opportunity to explore historical and contemporary concerns that have served to shape policy and practice. Specific attention will be given to the failure of child protection systems, policies and practices to safeguard many children and young people. Students will explore current legislation and its implications for practice for all those working with the young. A clearer understanding will be gained of the different roles and responsibilities of those working in the area of safeguarding children. Consideration will be given to the impact that abuse can have on the lives of children and their families.
Understanding Organisations in Children and Young People’s Services
This module seeks to get students to think critically about the management and leadership issues in Children’s services by looking at both theory and its practical application in a range of appropriate contexts, giving students a framework for critically evaluating managerial practice in Children and young people’s services.
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of how multi-agency working can significantly improve the quality of service and support available to children, young people and their families. It will give students knowledge of how multi-agency working is expected to contribute to more effective systems, processes and practices for safeguarding children. Students will have the opportunity to explore the implications for practice, management and inspection and regulation of the recent policy changes in the area of safeguarding children, and gain an understanding of the changing nature of professional roles and relationships in developing multi-agency working.
Listening To Children and Young People
This module pulls together the debate around ‘listening’ which is one of the key themes of the programme. It seeks to explore the issue both theoretically and practically, including an exploration of potential tensions and difficulties in this area.
Working with Change and Uncertainty
This module will expect students to critically analyse the concepts of social theory and how this relates in practice. It will define uncertainty and change from a national to local level in relation to working with children, young people and families. Students will develop an understanding of legislation and how changing legislation has caused change and uncertainty in the field of working with children, young people and families over recent years. It will present students with the opportunity to explore and discuss how change is managed and implemented in organisations working with children, young people and families.
This module provides students with the opportunity to explore an are of particular interest through undertaking a small research project supported by a member of staff from the subject area (or elsewhere) with appropriate specialist knowledge.