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Unit information: Family Support in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Family Support
Unit code SOWK20002
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Turney
Open unit status Open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit is concerned with the difficulties and stresses that families can experience and the kinds of support available for parents, carers and children which promote children’s development. The legal and policy framework for family support is examined. Examples of targeted provisions for children and families are considered and the impact of Government initiatives such as Sure Start and children’s centres explored in depth. Issues that impact on children’s wellbeing and development, such as child abuse, experience of domestic violence, poverty, disability and discrimination are studied. A visit to a chosen Family Support Agency is an important part of the unit.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of studying this unit students should be able to:

  • Understand family support services
  • Link knowledge and research and practice in agencies
  • Develop group study and presentation skills
  • Have experience of one family support agency

Teaching Information

Lectures, seminar classes, agency visit.

Assessment Information

Formative assessment is through a group presentation based on an agency visit;

Summative assessment is a 3,000 word essay.

Reading and References

  • Canavan, J., Dolan, P. and Pinkerton, J. (2000) Family Support: Direction from diversity. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
  • Dolan, P., Canavan, J. & Pinkerton, J. (2006) Family Support as Reflective Practice. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Fawcett, B., Featherstoke, B. and Goddard, J (2004) Contemporary Childcare Policy and Practice. London and New York: Palgrave.
  • Miller, S. (2010) Supporting Parents: Improving outcomes for children, families and communities. Maidenhead: Open University Press
  • Quinton, D. (2004) Supporting Parents: Messages from Research. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.