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Unit information: Child Development, Health and Wellbeing in 2015/16

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Unit name Child Development, Health and Wellbeing
Unit code SPOLM0025
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Turney
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will enable students to:

  • Extend their knowledge of, and ability to apply, child development and relevant theoretical perspectives, such as attachment theory
  • Understand and evaluate the developmental needs of children and young people and the factors that promote and those that hinder optimal development
  • Develop their knowledge of child observation methods and their application to practice
  • Broaden their appreciation of individual, family and environmental factors that adversely affect parenting capacity and impact on child well-being, health and development

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of, and ability critically to appraise, current thinking in child development
  • Evidence critical awareness of new insights in the field , including contemporary debates in neuroscience in relation to child development
  • Understand and apply knowledge of the effects of trauma on children’s health, development and well-being, and show a critical appreciation of factors that support resilience in children and young people
  • Critically reflect on the relationship between parenting/care-giving and development
  • Critically appreciate the ways in which vulnerability to poverty and social exclusion affect particular groups, and the impact of these experiences on parenting capacity and children’s developmental outcomes.
  • Demonstrate skills of child observation underpinned by a critical awareness of different methodological approaches
  • Demonstrate critical understanding and application of core social work values, including anti-oppressive practice, child-centred practice and service user perspectives.

Teaching Information

Teaching will take place in 1.5 hour sessions, normally over a 3 day block with a further re-call day. The unit will combine lectures, seminar discussion and practical exercises.

Students will also undertake structured observations of a nominated child.

Assessment Information

A reflective assignment of 3500 - 4000 words based on structured observations of a nominated child. The assignment will require the student to demonstrate advanced understanding of relevant child development theory and research and its critical application in practice.

Students will be expected to submit supporting practice evidence; all practice-based elements of the assessment are must-pass but zero-weighted.

Reading and References

Aldgate, J. et al (eds) (2006) The Developing World of the Child. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Brandon, M., Sidebotham, P., Ellis, C., Bailery, S. & Belderson, P. (2011) Child and family practitioners' understanding of child development: Lessons learned from a small sample of serious case reviews. London: Department for Education

Daniel, B. et al. (2010) Child Development for Child Care and Protection Workers. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 2nd edition.

Fawcett, M. (2009) Learning through Child Observation. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 2nd edition.

Howe, D. (2011) Attachment Across the Lifecourse. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Robinson, L. (2007) Cross-Cultural Child Development for Social Workers: An introduction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.