SW0615 - Intervening to Assess and Manage Risk

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This module will buildon intervention modules in level 4 and 5. This will focus on the need to intervene to assess and manage risk in complex situations.

In order to prepare for the final practice placement, the teaching will concentrate on implementing core skills to develop and implement professional social work practice within a statutory framework. Specialist workshops will enable detailed consideration of safeguarding practices in contemporary social work. Skills development will form part of the teaching and learning strategy: this learning will then be applied and demonstrated in the practice learning opportunity.

The 30 placement days attached to this module will offer students the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills as qualifying social work practitioners with service users, carers and other professionals in practice settings.

Students will be offered formative feedback from peers and seminar leaders during workshop sessions. In the practice learning opportunity feedback will be offered from practice educators, service users and social work practitioners.
The module will be summative assessed by an assignment which will focus on professional judgment and decision making and a Pass/Fail assessment of the student’s ability to work to the Professional Capability Framework at a qualifying level.


Books and Reports
Allen, G. Langford, D. (2008) Effective interviewing in social work and social care. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Calder, M. and Hackett, S. (Eds.) (2002) Assessment in child care: Using and developing frameworks for practice. Lyme Regis: Russell House. DFCSF (2010) Working together to safeguard children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. London: HMSO Holland, S. (2004) Child and family assessment in social work practice. London. Sage.
Howe, D. (2008) The emotionally intelligent social worker. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Humphreys, C. & Stanley, N. (Eds) (2006) Domestic violence and child protection: Directions for good practice. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Koprowska, J. (2010) Communication and interpersonal skills in social work. Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd (Also as an E book).
Mcnamara E (ed.) (2009) Motivational interviewing: Theory, practice and application with children and young people.
O'Louglan & O'Loughlan, S (2008) Social work with children and families. Exeter, Learning Matters. Olsen, R. & Clarke, H. (2003) Parenting and disability: Disabled parents' experiences of raising children. London: The Policy Press.
O'Sullivan, T. (2011) Decision making in social work. 2nd Edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Roker, D. and Coleman, J. (eds) (2007) Working with the parents of young people. London: Jessica Kingsley. Watt, J. (2013) Report writing for social worker. London: Sage/Learning Matters.
Journal Articles.
Buckley, H., Carr, N. and Whelan, S. (2011) ‘‘Like walking on eggshells’: service user views and expectations of the child protection system’, Child and family social work 16, pp. 101–110
Daniel B, (2011) Re-thinking harm and abuse: insights from a lifespan perspective, British journal of social work, 41, 5, Pages 820-836.
Daniel B (2010) ‘Concepts of adversity, risk, vulnerability and resilience: A discussion in the context of the child protection system’, Social policy and society 9:2 pp. 231-241.
Chantler, K. (2012) ‘Gender, asylum seekers and mental distress: Challenges for mental health social work,’ British journal of social work, 42, pp. 318 – 334.
Farnfield, S. (2008) ‘Theoretical model for the assessment of parenting,’ British journal of social work,’ 38, pp.1076-1099. Ferguson, H. (2009) ‘Performing child protection: home visiting, movement and the struggle to reach the abused child’, Child and family social work, Vol 14:pp471-480.
Ferguson, H. (2009) ‘Performing child protection: home visiting, movement and the struggle to reach the abused child,’ Child and family social work, Vol 14:pp471-480.
Helm, D. (2011) ‘Judgements or assumptions? The role of analysis in assessing children and young people’s needs,’ British journal of social work, (2011) 5, 41, pp.894–911.
Galpin, D. & Hughes, D. (2011) A joined up approach to safeguarding and personalisation: a framework for practice in multi agency decision- making. Journal of adult protection, 13 (3) pp. 150 – 159.
Helm, D. (2011) Judgements or assumptions? The role of analysis in assessing children and young people’s needs. British journal of social work, Vol. 5, 41, pp.894–911.
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(5), pp. 884 – 900.
Parton, N. (2011) Child protection and safeguarding in England: changing and competing conceptions of risk and their implications for social work, British journal of social work, 41,Issue: 5, pp. 854-875.
Taylor, J., Baldwin, N. and Spencer, N. (2008) Predicting child abuse and neglect: ethical, theoretical and methodological challenges. Journal of clinical nursing. 17, pp.1193-1200.
Tew, J., Ramon, S., Slade, M., Bird, V., Melton, J. & Le Boutillier (2012) Social factors and recovery from mental health difficulties: A review of the evidence. British journal of social work, 42, pp. 443 – 460.
Winter, K. (2009) 'Relationships matter: the problems and prospects for social workers' relationships with young children in care’, Child and family social work, 14, pp.450-460.
Electronic Resources
Beresford, P. & Hasler, F. (2009) Transforming social care: Changing the future together. Shaping our Lives available at: http://www.shapingourlives.org.uk/documents/132459TransformingSocialCareFinal150dpi.pdf
Branfield, F. (2009) Relationship matters: Building our knowledge and networks Shaping our Lives available at: http://www.shapingourlives.org.uk/ourpubs.html
Galvani, S., Dance, C. and Hutchinson, A. (2011) From the front line: alcohol, drugs and social care practice. A national study. Available at: www.beds.ac.uk/goldbergcentre/research 2.


The syllabus will include:
- Applying knowledge to inform interventions designed to assess and manage risk to adults and children - Communication skills and self awareness, within challenging statutory social work practice
- Understanding and managing the impact on self of emotionally charged and high risk situations
- Managing resistance whilst maintaining a service user focus in line with social work standards of proficiency
- Specific forms of social work intervention designed to assess and manage risk
- Utilising core social work skills in complex situations
- Decision making and professional judgement
- Specialist safeguarding children workshops
- Specialist safeguarding adults workshops
- Developing a range of specialist skills for practice


The module aims to offer learning to enable students to develop into confident social workers who can work with and manage uncertainty and risk in a professional context, by using evidence informed approaches to decision making, professional judgements and interventions.
A critically analytical approach to literature and methods of intervention will be facilitated, to enable students to develop skills appropriate for a range of statutory social work settings.
Practice learning will focus on intervening to manage risk whilst promoting independence and choice where appropriate and supporting wellbeing.
This module is the final part of the thread which scaffolds learning in relation to interventions within the Professional Capabilities framework.


On successful completion students will be able to:
1. Practice at a level that successfully meets the guidance and standards set out in the Professional Capabilities Framework and the TCSW Standards of Proficiency such that they may make an application to register with the HCPC
2. Critically appraise appropriate frameworks for assessment and forms of intervention
3. Demonstrate the critical ability to make evidence based judgements to inform decision making in situations of complexity and uncertainty
4. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of relevant intervention skills
5. Critically evaluate intervention within a multi-professional and legislative context
6. Display a reflexive understanding of personal contribution to intervention and managing change


SW0507, SW0508, SW0509, SW0510, SW0511, SW0512


Workshops and seminars will provide the opportunity for learners to explore intervention skills prior to the practice learning opportunity. Workshops will focus on sophisticated intervention skills and managing self in formal statutory situations. Staff modelling, role play and peer refection will be used to enhance the learning experience. Electronic materials and directed learning will also be used.
Service user and practitioner involvement will reinforce the authenticity of the learning offered on the module.

Teaching and Learning during the Practice Experience
The learning in practice will be supported and assessed by an appointed practice educator in the workplace. Formative assessment will be provided within regular supervision sessions and via a mid placement review of progress. Students will have regular supervision with the practice educator in relation to the development of practice capability. Teaching and learning strategies provided by the practice assessor will include direct observation, practical experience, individual supervision, discussion, written work, reading, reflection and directed learning

Students will have a guidance tutor to monitor professional development and provide systematic academic support during placement.


a. Summative assessment and rationale for tasks
i. Assignment that demonstrates understanding and application of professional judgement and decision making in relation to a case study. 2000 words.100% of mark
ii. Presentation of a complete and well presented practice learning portfolio including a signed recommendation from the practice educator that the student has met the full range of professional capabilities at a qualifying level. Pass/Fail.
b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale
Staff, peer, service user and practitioner feedback on skills development.
Submission of a decision tree linked to a case study
c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning
Peer / practitioner/service user /staff feedback from workshop sessions
Formative assessment will be provided within regular supervision sessions and via a mid placement review of progress. Students will have regular supervision with the practice educator in relation to the development of practice capability.

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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