SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2L522644
Module Leader Shelley Buckley
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Social Work
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Successful completion of Level 1 BA (Hons) Social Work/equivalent

Summary of Content

This module will address working with risk within the context of social work practice. Both positive and negative aspects of risk will be explored, as will the process of assessing and managing risk within different service user groups. Risk will be considered from the perspectives of the different participants in the social work process, including social workers, other professional groups and service users. Particular aspects of working with risk will be considered, including inter-professional working, the use of power and authority, working with involuntary service users and decision making. In addition, the module will meet the mandatory requirement to address Key Capabilities in Child Care and Protection (Scottish Executive, 2007).


-284 1. Critical definitions of what is meant by risk and protection. 2. Critical perspectives on care and control. 3. Risks, needs and strengths. 4. Lessons from the past - including reference to specific Inquiry Reports. 5. Critical perspectives on vulnerability and protection. 6. Risk assessment: process, strategies and tools. 7. The changing person and changing environment: the importance of monitoring and review processes. 8. Institutional and cultural issues of risk and protection. 9. Exploration of differences in risk management between the four main social work areas/settings i.e. children and families; community care; criminal justice and mental health. 10. Working in partnership with others in risk and protection. 11. Practice issues in relation to responding to risk.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the complexity of the concept of risk as it applies to social work practice.2. Demonstrate an awareness, understanding and ability to critically analyse the concepts of vulnerability and protection.3. Critically analyse and evaluate the tensions between the perspectives of the different actors in the process of protection of vulnerable children and adults.4. Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the processes of assessment, including models and tools for use within different social work settings .5. Demonstrate the capacity to evaluate risk assessment and management process and strategies.6. Demonstrate and awareness and understanding of the opportunities and challenges of working in partnership with others.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The core themes of the module will be covered in lectures, supplemented by directed reading, with significant use made of GCU Learn and other on-line resources relevant to research. A variety of strategies will be used in seminars to explore issues around responding to risk, including case simulations, layered cases studies and a variety of group exercises. As well as a written assignment exploring issues related to working with risk, students will undertake a group presentation on a recent Significant Case Review to allow a more detailed exploration of issues around where outcomes are poor.

Indicative Reading

-720 Banks, S., 2012. Ethics and Values in Social Work. London, Palgrave. Beesley, P., Watts, M. and Harrison, M., 2018. Developing Your Communication Skills in Social Work, London, Sage. Constable, G., 2013. Written Presentation of Self. In Skills for Social Work Practice, ed. A. Mantell, 2 nd edn. London, Sage, -1 Doel,-12 M.,-12 2010,-12 -1 Social-15 -6 Work-11 -1 Placements-14 --11 A-24 -1 Travellers-11 -1 Guide.-12 London , Routledge. Dunk- West, P., 2018. How to be a Social Worker: A Critical Guide for Students 2 nd edn. London, Palgrave. Egan, G., 2014. The Skilled Helper, 10th edn. Brooks Cole Cengage Learning, USA. Fenton, J., 2016. Values in Social Work: Reconnecting with Social Justice. London, Palgrave. Field, P., Jasper, C and Littler, L., 2016. Practice Education in Social Work: Achieving Professional Standards 2nd edn. Northwich, Critical Publishing. Fook, J, and Gardner, F., 2008. Practising Critical Reflection. Berkshire: Open University Press. Gray M, and Webb S., 2013. Social Work Theories and Methods, 2nd Edition. London, Sage. Grant, L and Kinman, G., 2014. Developing Resilience for Social Work Practice. London, Palgrave. Kettle, M., 2015. Achieving Effective Supervision. Glasgow, Institute for Innovation in Social Services. Koprowska, J., 2014. Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work, 4th edn. London, Sage. Lishman, J. ed., 2007. Handbook for Practice Learning in Social Work and Social Care, 2nd edn. London, Jessica Kingsley. McLean, S, Harrison, R., 2012. Theory and Practice: A Straightforward Guide for Social Work Students, 2nd edn. London, Kirwan & McLean Associates Ltd. Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S., 2013. Applications of Motivational Interviewing. Motivational interviewing: Helping People Change, 3rd edn. New York, NY, US: Guilford Press. Milner, J., Myers, S. and O'Byrne, P., 2015. Assessment in Social Work 4 th edn. London, Palgrave. Parker, J. & Bradley, G., 2003. Social Work Practice: Assessment, Planning, Intervention and Review. Exeter, Learning Matters. Payne, M., 2014. Modern Social Work Theory. 4th ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Rogers, M and Allen, D., 2019. Applying Critical Thinking and Analysis in Social Work. London, Sage.

Transferrable Skills

-284 1. Analytical skills in relation to practice. 2. Critical reflection on risk, power and decision making in professional, family and organizational contexts. 3. Communication and practical skills. 4. Working in small groups. 5. Use of range of approaches to formulate evidence based solutions/responses to defined and/or routine problems/issues.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 18.00
Lectures (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 144.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 20.00 35% Group presentation
Course Work 02 n/a 80.00 35% Assignment 2500 word