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Semester 1

Social Work: Making A Difference (SCWR08003)


Social Work





Normal Year Taken


Delivery Session Year



Course Summary

The course will introduce students to notions, definitions and insights about social work practice from within the profession, discussing how they compare with public understanding (and prejudices) of the social worker s role and task. A theme will be to explore how social workers can and do make a difference. Outside contributors will discuss what they do and how they interface with other professions, providing students with an awareness of the distinct place of social work in the range of welfare services.

Course Description

The course is divided into three sections with an introductory lecture and closing lecture that begin with and return to the theme of 'making a difference'. The first section is entitled Social Work in the Past, Present and Future. It provides historical perspectives on the development of the social work profession and offers a picture of 21st century social work. The second section is entitled The Professional Role and Challenges for Today's Practitioners. Here, the overall aim is to provide students with an opportunity to understand and discuss the unique contribution that social workers make to people's welfare and well-being. The section consists of three sets of lectures and contributions from guest speakers. Each set will look at the key strands of social work today Justice, Adult Services, and Children and Families, and will introduce students to the concept of the social worker as a professional with a body of values, ethics and a distinct social work identity. An overview of contemporary practice will be provided by academic staff and complemented by input from statutory social work practitioners who will present a snapshot of what they do with an emphasis upon the distinct role they play as social workers, e.g. how they are different to and interface with other professions. Non-statutory professionals and service user groups will offer a wider perspective on the social work role and services. The third section, Our Professional Values and Good Practice, consists of a lecture that restates an essential element of social work practice - that of confronting disadvantage and promoting empowerment. The overall themes will be the nature and diversity of contemporary social work and the people who need the services of social workers; the uniqueness of the social work profession and its relationship to other professions; and finally, the difference that social workers can make in helping people maximise their well-being. On completion of this course, the student will have acquired an overview of: 1. how social services and the social work profession have developed 2. the role, challenges and diversity of contemporary social work practice in the UK 3. the values required for good social work practice.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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