SW0511 - Risk and Development

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Students will consider factors that impact risk and development. They will explore the relationship between risk, autonomy and choice and learn appropriate underpinning knowledge for social work intervention to promote positive outcomes. They will engage with key topics such as risk, resilience and attachment, and how theories and evidence can inform practice e.g. in cases of interpersonal violence in the family, with the aim of reducing violence. The formative assignment will assess the student’s capacity to use knowledge in formulating their response to practice issues. The summative assignment will be short-answer coursework, and will assess the student’s learning, their capacity to apply concepts, and to reflect upon their own life and development.


Aldgate, J., Jones, D., Rose, W., & Jeffrey, C. (2007) The developing world of the child. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Daniel, B. (2007) ‘The concept of resilience: messages for residential care’ in Kendrick, A. (eds) Residential child care: Prospects and challenges, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Department of Health (2008) Transforming adult social care. London: The Stationary Office.
Calder, M. and Hackett, S. (Eds) (2002) Assessment in child care: Using and developing frameworks for practice. Lyme Regis: Russell House.
Corby, C. (2006) Child abuse; towards a knowledge base. 3rd edn. Basingstoke: Open University Press.
DFES (2006) Working together to safeguard children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. London: HMSO.
Fook, J. (2012) Social work: A critical approach to practice, London: Sage
Glendinning, C. et al. (2008) Evaluation of the individual budgets pilot programme: Final report. University of York: Social Policy Research Unit.
Goodley, D. (2011) Disability studies, London: Sage.
Goodman, A. (2009) Social work and substance misusers. Exeter: Learning Matters.
Mantell, A. (2009) Social work skills with adults. Exeter: Learning Matters.
Prior V. & Glaser D (2006) Understanding attachment and attachment
disorders: Theory, evidence and practice. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Pritchard, J. (2008) (ed) Good practice in safeguarding adults: Working effectively in adult protection. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Roulstone, A. & Bish-Mason, H (eds) (2012) Disability hate crime and violence Routledge.
Webb, S.A (2006) Social work in a risk society. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Journal Articles
Brown, H (1994) ‘An ordinary sexual life?’:A review of the normalisation principle as it applies to the sexual options of people with learning disabilities’, Disability & society, Volume 9, Issue 2 pp.123-44.
Hoffman, D. (2010) ‘Risky investments: Parenting and the production of the resilient child’, Health, risk & society, 12(4) pp. 385-394.
Hollomotz, A (2012) ‘A lad tried to get hold of my boobs, so I kicked him’: An examination of attempts by adults with learning difficulties to initiate their own safeguarding’, Disability & society, Volume 27, Number 1.
Hough, R.E (2012) Adult protection and ‘intimate citizenship’ for people with learning difficulties: empowering and protecting in light of the No Secrets review. Disability and society, Vol 27, number 1.
Manthorpe, J., Rapaport, J. & Stanley, N. (2009) ‘Expertise and experience: people with experiences of using services and carers’ views of the Mental Capacity Act, 2005.’ British journal of social work, 39, pp. 884 – 900.
McMurray, I., Connolly, H., Preston-Shoot, M., Wigley, V. (2010) ‘Constructing resilience: social workers’ understandings and practice’, Health & social care in the community, 16(3): 299 – 309
Runswick-Cole, K & Goodley, D (2013) ‘Resilience: A disability studies and community psychology approach’, Social and personality psychology compass,
Volume 7, Issue 2, pp. 67–78.
Seddon, D., Robinson, C., Reeves, C., Tommis, Y., Woods, B. & Russell, I. (2007) ‘In their own right: Translating the policy of carer assessment into practice.’ British journal of social work, 37, pp.1135 – 1352.
Sellers, S. & Hunter, A. (2005) ‘Private pain, public choices: Influence of problems in the family of origin on career choices among a cohort of MSW students’ Social work education, 24(8): 869-881
Vanderbilt-Adriance E., Shaw DS., (2008) ‘Conceptualizing and re-evaluating resilience across levels of risk, time, and domains of competence’ Clinical child & family psychological review, 11(1-2) pp. 30-58.

Electronic Resources
Beresford, P. & Hasler, F. (2009) Transforming social care: Changing the future together. Shaping our Lives www.shapingourlives.org.uk/consulations,html
Branfield, F. (2009) Relationship matters: Building our knowledge and networks Shaping our Lives www.shapingourlives.org.uk/consulations,html


Risk and Development
- Identify policy context e.g. early intervention agenda, no health without mental health
- Resilience
- Attachment
- Child development
- Loss
- Disability & complexity

Underpinning knowledge for interventions
- Family violence
- Mental health
- Protective factors
- Problematic substance use

Short and long-term effects of abuse


This module builds upon learning in SW0415 and aims to support learners to move from an ability to draw on an understanding of social and psychological factors in interpreting situations to a capacity to apply this knowledge in interpreting risk and development.
Students will explore ways of using evidence to inform decision-making and intervention, and draw on techniques for appraising the usefulness of evidence. This will inform their consideration of risk and development as key themes for understanding development, and be contextualised by an understanding of theories for interpreting human development, such as attachment theory.
This module is the second part of the thread which scaffolds learning in relation to the Knowledge Capability within the Professional Capabilities framework.


On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Reflect upon their own life and development, and the way in which their experiences have shaped the way they respond to stressful situations
2. Discuss ways that behaviour is shaped by personal histories and social contexts, relating this to social policy and social work values
3. Appraise knowledge of risk factors and protective factors for human development and wellbeing
4. Show confidence in making evidence-based claims regarding risk and development
5. Evidence a commitment to valuing the expertise of service users and carers
6. Appraise the impact of diversity on key concepts in individual growth and development


SW0411, SW0412, SW0413, SW0414, SW0415, SW0416


SW0507, SW0508, SW0509, SW0510, SW0512


Lectures will address on risk and development and the underpinning knowledge for social work interventions. They will provide opportunities to guide students in discussing the role of personal histories and social contexts on behaviour and development, and the role of risk and protective factors. The lectures will model making evidence-based claims, and help students draw links between the underpinning knowledge required for intervention, social policy developments and social work values. Students will also have opportunities to hear from service-users and carers in the course of the lectures.
Seminars will provide an opportunity for students to consolidate their knowledge, and help students address more precisely ‘how?’ questions regarding applying knowledge. They will provide opportunities for students to reflect on how to apply knowledge of risk and development in practice to support the wellbeing and resilience of service-users, and in reflecting on their own lives and development. Seminars will also offer opportunities to engage with the view of service-users and carers.
A set of e-learning resources will be available to students, with e.g. exercises to further develop learning in lectures and seminars; test-yourself assessments to help students see how far they are towards meeting learning objectives.


a Summative assessment and rationale for tasks
The summative assessment for the module will comprise:
i. A workbook of reflections from students’ reading and other learning and consolidating the material from the lectures and seminars. A key component of this workbook will be a write-up of an interview conducted by the student with an older person, which will serve as an opportunity to learn about growth and development across the life course. 1000 words 50%
ii. A short-answer coursework task. The questions in the coursework will address various dimensions of risk and development, and the underpinning knowledge for social work intervention. Short-answer coursework has the advantage of facilitating the assessment of students’ learning regarding the interaction between a variety of risk and protective factors. 1000 words 50%
b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale
A formative, practical assessment will require students to demonstrate skills in applying knowledge of risk and protective factors to a case study in thinking about how to promote resilience and wellbeing, and for managing oneself.
c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning
Students will receive ongoing verbal feedback in response to their questions and contributions in the seminars. Students will also be able to get automated feedback on their responses to ‘test-yourself’ e-learning resources. Students will receive written feedback in response to the formative task and in response to the summative task, including guidance on further thinking and reading to help meet the different learning outcomes as fully as possible.

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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