SW0413 - Supporting Social Action in the Community

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This module encourages students to understand the principles of how to support community groups, initiatives and programmes in achieving social change objectives, using different organisational approaches. This module includes 3 days of skills development, and forms part of the “interventions” thread running through the programme.
As third sector projects are increasingly taking responsibility for welfare provision, this module supports student knowledge of this sector. This requires knowledge and understanding of how ‘not for profit’ or community organisations identify social change objectives, needs and trends and how they work in partnership with service users and others. Students will be required to undertake at least 3 days fieldwork which will involve identifying and visiting organisations in a neighbourhood. The purpose of this is to describe its key characteristics before analysing how it can address social need and access funding. Feedback will given via the student feedback form and will be enhanced by verbla feedback during designated feedback sessions.


Books and Reports

Banks, S. Butcher, H. Henderson, P. Robertson, J. (2003) Managing community practice. Bristol: Policy Press.
Barton, H. Guise, R. Grant, M. (2010) Shaping neighbourhoods: for local health and global sustainability. 2nd edn., London: Routledge.
Blakemore, K. Griggs, (2007) Social policy: an introduction. 3rd edn., Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Blackman, T. (2006) Placing health, neighbourhood renewal, health improvement and complexity. Bristol: The Policy Press.
Cattell, V. (2012) Poverty, community, and health: co-operation and the good society. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hawtin, M. and Percy-Smith, J. (2007) Community profiling: A practical guide. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Healy, K. (2012) Social work methods and skills: the essential foundations of practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Henderson, P. & Thomas, D. (2013) Skills in neighbourhood work. 4th edn. London: Routledge.
Quinney, A. & Hafford-Letchfield, T. (2012) Interprofessional social work: effective collaborative approaches. London: Learning Matters.
Williams, G. (2007) Community health and well-being: action research on health inequalities. Bristol: Policy Press.

Journal Articles

Ochieng, B. (2011) ‘The effect of kin, social network and neighbourhood support on individual well-being’, Health and social care in the community, July 2011, 19, 4, pp. 429-437
Maidment, J. & Macfarlane, S. (2011) ‘Older women and craft: extending educational horizons in considering wellbeing’, Social Work Education 30 (6) pp. 700 - 711
Community Development Journal
Critical Social Policy
Health and Place
Health and Social Care in the Community
Health, Risk and Society
Journal of Social Policy
Urban Studies

Electronic Resources

Department of Health (2010) A vision for adult social care: capable communities and active citizens www.dh.gov.uk
Henwood, M. (2012) Empowering communities: community skills development and neighbourhood workforce planning. Leeds: Skills for Care www.skillsforcare.org.uk
Wilton, C. (2012) Building community capacity: evidence, efficiency and cost-effectiveness www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/BCC
(The Community Development Foundation)
(The Community Development Exchange)
(The Department for Communities and Local Government)
(The Joseph Rowntree Foundation)
(The Local Government Association)
(The National Youth Agency)
(The Social Care Institute for Excellence)
(part of the Department of Health’s Think Local Act personal website)


The syllabus will focus on:
- policy drivers at national and local level that support not for profit or community organisations
- the type and range of community organisations that operate in neighbourhoods
- neighbourhoods and the communities they serve
- examples of local not for profit or community organisations engaged in social action of various kinds
- sources of support for new organisations
- understanding of social needs and potential for development


This module aims to support learners to move from entry level to being able to understand the principles of how to intervene to support community groups, initiatives and programmes in achieving social change objectives, using different organisational approaches.
Students will be supported to acquire knowledge and understanding of how ‘not for profit’ or community organisations identify social change objectives, needs and trends and how they work in partnership with the service users. Students will be encouraged to explore how to identify the key characteristics of a ‘not for profit’ or community organisation, evaluating its strengths and weaknesses in relation to sustainable operation and the potential to meet identified need.
This module is one of two modules at level 4 which address aspects of the Interventions domain of the Professional Capabilities Framework. This will prepare students for level 5 when they are expected to develop their skills with individuals and contexts within which they operate.


On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Identify, define and justify the key characteristics of an existing not for profit or community organisation in a social action context in modern Britain
2. Identify and define a viable model of a support or development service in a social action context
3. Make an initial evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of the not for profit or community organisation. Identify and justify potential to develop and meet identified need
4. Evaluate how the organisation works in partnership with service users, and good practice in this aspect of the work
5. Prepare, present and justify a development plan for meeting identified social needs
6. Communicate clearly, accurately and appropriately in verbal and written forms


SW0411, SW0412, SW0414, SW0415, SW0416


Lead lectures will provide the knowledge base and will be linked to seminars which will focus developing an understanding of neighbourhoods and community based organisations, preparation for undertaking fieldwork and presenting learning to peers and lecturers. Extensive use is made of guest speakers and case studies to demonstrate how community groups develop and operate within their neighbourhoods. At least 20 hours of fieldwork will be undertaken in small groups identifying and visiting community organisations.
Assessment support
Specific assessment support sessions (covering both formative and summative assessment tasks) will be integrated into the teaching period


a. Summative assessment and rationale for tasks
A 2000 word written report about developing an area of the work of community organisation. If appropriate, the student may be encouraged to share this with the relevant Management Committee of the organisation. Writing a report will enable students to learn how to communicate clearly, accurately and appropriately when engaging with people and communities. This will prepare students for their first assessed placement in level 5.
b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale
Presentation of a ‘case study’ of a local ‘non for profit’ or community organisation that identifies, defines and justifies its key characteristics. This should include information about: the social location of the organization, the service/s it provides, and the Management set up and structure, the aims and objectives of the organisation, identifying and discussing how they address social need and sources of funding.
c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning
Feedback on the formative assessment task will be provided by seminar leaders, and peers. This will take the form of verbal feedback, discussions and, where relevant written feedback either individually or via group feedback on the e-LP.
Feedback on the summative assessment task will be provided on a template giving both the summative mark and individual formative feedback and feed-forward comments. Generic feedback will be posted on the eLP.

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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