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Unit information: Unit 6: Reflective Practice in a Multi-Agency Context in 2015/16

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Unit name Unit 6: Reflective Practice in a Multi-Agency Context
Unit code SPOL32005
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Turney
Open unit status Not open



Unit 1: Professional Skills in Practice

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


This unit is intended to provide students with the opportunity to develop and extend their practice through examining and reflecting on the social work role in a multi-disciplinary context. Recent changes introduced as a result of the government&)s Every Child Matters programme have led to new organisational structures for child care social work, and new opportunities and challenges connected with the aspiration of greater inter-disciplinary co-operation. However, the work context of individual practitioners will vary, and in order to complete this unit effectively, each student will be required to undertake a programme of independent study linked to their own specialist context, and under the supervision of an academic tutor. A significant element of this independent study will be focused on the production of a reflective project (see Methods of Assessment).

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the Unit, students will be able to:

  • Reflect critically on the social work role and their own practice;
  • Evaluate the theoretical, research and policy context of multi-agency working in children’s services, with particular reference to their own practice context;
  • Critically examine emerging approaches to working with people in a multi-agency context (e.g. the Common Assessment Framework, the Information Sharing Index);
  • Apply in practice a critical understanding of core social work values especially in relation to communication with others, sharing information and working in a multi-agency context (see the professional Codes of Practice, GSCC, 2002);
  • Undertake reflective analysis of their own work, based on independent study and practice.

Teaching details

Delivery methods will be based on independent study, supplemented by introductory lectures, tutorials and the independent application of learning in practice. It is intended that mentoring support will be provided by employers.

Assessment Details

Reflective analysis of practice (max 6000 words) related to a case study or an equivalent piece of work and documentary evidence from the practice context. The exact focus and content of this analysis will be determined in consultation with the academic tutor, within the parameters of the unit learning outcomes

Work-based assessment of practice (direct observation of practice by practice assessor).

Reading and References

  • Adams R., Dominelli L. and Payne M. (eds) (2002), Critical Practice in Social Work. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Bell J. (2005), Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First Time Researchers in Education and Social Science. Buckingham: Open University Press, 4th ed.
  • Department for Education and Skills (2005), Common Assessment Framework for Children and Young People. DfES,
  • Every Child Matters Change for Children website:
  • Martyn H. (ed) (2000), Developing Reflective Practice: Making sense of social work in a world of change. Bristol: The Policy Press.
  • Murphy, Michael (2004), Developing Collaborative Relationships in Interagency Child Protection Work. Lyme Regis: Russell House.