Describe Social Work; Social Policy and Law

The Module
This module introduces student to philosophical, ideological and theoretical concepts, which underpin the development of social policy and legislation. Through individual, collective and experiential learning strategies students will develop awareness and understanding of key social policy, legislative and organisational frameworks that support practice and their impact on those who use services.


• To develop understanding of the social and political context of social work practice by exploring ideological, philosophical and theoretical perspectives which underpin contemporary policy and legislation, and inform notions of human rights and equality in social work practice;
• Provide students with a critical knowledge which enables them to be both informed and pro-actively responsive to the challenges and opportunities that come with changing social contexts and constructs in social work;
• Assist students to develop critical appraisal and awareness of the organisational context of practice in social and health care settings to facilitate collaborative inter-professional working.
Assessed Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the module you will be expected to be able to:
• Explain key philosophical, ideological and theoretical concepts, which underpin contemporary social policy and legislation in social work practice (PCF 1; 5)
• Describe organisational structures and cultures, and their relevance to social work practice (PCF 1; 8)
• Recognise principles and features of collaborative working (PCF 1; 7; 8)
• Critically analyse key areas of social policy and legislation which support social work practice (PCF 1; 5; 8)
• Critique the impact of contemporary practice, in terms of contexts and organisations, on those who use services (PCF 3; 4)

The assessment for this module consists of a 3000 word essay, the title of which is as follows:

A critical analysis of the organisation and delivery of services to adults, children and families in social work practice.

NOTE: Students who have been assessed by Disability Assist for extra support should inform the Programme Administrator and Module Leader of their specific access requirements as soon as possible to allow time to make reasonable adjustments.

Marking Criteria

Presentation: Written work should demonstrate:
· Accuracy
· Clarity
· Critical thinking
· Effective use of books and articles
· Completeness
· A reference list using the Harvard model.

Content: Written work should demonstrate
· principles of equality, social justice and human rights, and recognises the importance of diversity for social work.
· an understanding of the importance of professional behaviours and personal / professional boundaries.
· an awareness of your own values and critically reflect on how these can impact on practice.
· an understanding of the professions ethical principles and their relevance to practice.
· A relevant reference list which includes theory, policy and legislation.

Generic Marking Criteria:

· Work is complete, within word limits and meets Stage 1 academic standards. [Any incomplete work will not be marked].
· Work maintains confidentiality while being clear about the limits of this. Any breach of service user or carer name or address will result in an automatic mark of zero.
Marking Guidelines
It is a requirement that you remain within any word limits that have been set for two main reasons. First, it is important that you develop skills in presenting concise, well-organised and well-structured pieces of work. Second, setting a word limit helps to enhances fairness between students.

For these reasons marks will be deducted for scripts that exceed the word limit set:
001 – 100 inclusive 1 mark deducted
101 – 200 inclusive 2 marks deducted
201 – 300 inclusive 3 marks deducted
301 – 400 inclusive 4 marks deducted

The assignments require you to demonstrate, inter alia:

(a) an ability to write clearly and succinctly;

(b) an ability to identify and demonstrate an appreciation of the importance of the key concepts and ideas that are used in the discourse;

(c) an ability to gather, organise and present material in an appropriate form according to academic conventions;

(d) an ability to communicate ideas clearly and concisely.

Within this context, you are assessed according to:

• the degree to which you have understood the nature of the task;
· the depth and breadth of the content;
· the quality of your writing including the referencing of source material;

• the ways in which you have conceptualised and conveyed your ideas.
• Your work is within word limits and meets Stage 1 academic standards.
General reading/ resources for the module:

The student’s companion to social policy – Peter Alcock, Margaret May, Sharon Wright c2012 (electronic resource)
Social Policy: An Introduction – Ken Blakemore, Louise Warwick-Booth 2013 (electronic resource)
Understanding theories and concepts in social policy – Ruth Lister, Social Policy Association (Great Britain) 2010
Politics – Andrew Heywood 2013
Safeguarding adults and the law – Michael Mandelstam, Michael Mandelstam 2013 (electronic resource)
Political ideologies: an introduction – Andrew Heywood 1998
Social work: critical theory and practice – Jan Fook 2002