SW0412 - Skills for Social Work Intervention

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This module will prepare students to undertake direct practice with service users. The aim of the module is to prepare students to begin social work practice by developing their core communication skills and the capacity to develop these further. This module includes 10 days of skills development.
Students will consider personal communication style and develop their understanding of how to form, manage and sustain relationships. This will include practicing skills in giving and receiving feedback and using reflection to enhance intervention skills. Students will begin to develop an awareness of risk and safeguarding practice. They will also be supported to develop their written communication skills.
Assessment will include a sample of direct practice arranged in collaboration with service users/carers. Skills workshops will allow opportunity for simulated practice, and feedback from peers and staff.


Books and Reports

Allen, G. Langford, D. (2008) Effective interviewing in social work and social care. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Dominelli, L. (2009) ‘Anti-oppressive practice in context’, in R. Adams, L. Dominelli & M. Payne (eds.),Social work; themes, issues and critical debates. 3rd edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.2-29.
Howe, D. (2008) The emotionally intelligent social worker. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Koprowska, J. (2010) Communication and interpersonal skills in social work. Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd (Also as an E book).
Lishman, J. (2009) Communication in social work. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press.
Moss, B (2008) Communication skills for heath and social care. London: Sage Publications.
Rigall, S (2012) Using counselling skills in social work. London: Learning matters/Sage.
Thompson, N. (2009) People skills. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Thompson, N. (2011) Promoting equality; challenging discrimination and oppression in the human service. 3rd edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Watt, J (2013) Report Writing for Social Worker. London: Sage/Learning Matters.

Journal Articles

Morrison, T. (2007) ‘Emotional intelligence, emotion and social work: context, characteristics, complications and contribution’, British journal of social work, 37, pp.245-263.

Electronic Resources


The curriculum will include:
- Knowledge of self and impact on communication
- Knowledge of emotional resilience and management of self as applied to simulated practice situations
- Beginning knowledge of understanding personal and professional boundaries as applied to simulated practice situations.
- Verbal communication skills with a range of stakeholders
- Written communication skills in letters and reports for service users
- Interviewing skills, including listening, use of questioning techniques and telephone skills
- Assertiveness in professional situations
- Managing conflict and effective negotiation
- Understanding service user perspectives – including
- Diversity - developing awareness of the range of cultural, religious and ethnic perspectives in society in order to enhance and gauge the impact of these upon interpersonal skills.
- Methods of intervention.
- Skills for reflection in simulated practice situations.


This module aims to support learners to move from entry level to feeling confident about communication skills and written skills as they prepare for practice.
This module will enable participants to develop interpersonal and communication skills for beginning social work practice, with individuals, families, carers, communities and other professionals. This will be located within a broader understanding of the social work process and forms of intervention.
The module will assess the students’ fitness for social work practice learning.
This module is one of the two at level 4 in the thread which scaffold learning in relation to communication and interventions within the Professional Capabilities Framework. This leads on to skills for interventions in practice and ultimately skills for working with and managing risk.


On successful completion students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a range of appropriate interpersonal skills for a professional social work context
2. Understand and manage themselves in interaction with service users, their families and other stakeholders
3. Demonstrate skills in written communication for a professional context
4. Consider and explain the impact of diversity upon interpersonal communication
5. Meet HCPC / TCSW guidelines by demonstrating learning outcomes at a level where the student is considered to be ready for direct practice before undertaking their first practice learning experience
6. Be familiar with a range of forms of intervention to respond to need and promote change



SW0411, SW0413, SW0414, SW0415, SW0416


Learning will be promoted by the use of lectures, seminars and directed learning. Small workshops will focus on skills development in relation to communication. Staff modelling and role play will be used to enhance the learning experience. Electronic materials will also be used. Service user and practitioner involvement in simulated interviews and recording of these will reinforce the authenticity of the learning offered on the module
Students will be asked to reflect upon their communication skills in simulated interviews in role plays and following a recording with a service user or carer.


a Summative assessment and rationale for tasks
i Direct communication skills, assessed by a 10 minute DVD recording of a social work interview which should demonstrate ability to engage with a service user using effective inter-personal skills. PASS / FAIL
ii. An in-depth written reflection of students’ ability to engage with the service user in the interview, incorporating knowledge and theory underpinning their approach. 1,000 words PASS / FAIL
b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale
Completion of workbook including personal reflection on giving and receiving feedback.
c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning
Written feedback will be provided by tutor on formative workbook. Seminars will provide peer feedback on simulated interviewing skills.

This assessment will not be marked anonymously (given that the student is clearly identifiable)

Course info

UCAS Code L502

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Department Social Work, Education & Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020 or September 2021

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Module Information

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