Why was the local authority interested in you researching this particular issue?
Social Work Community Needs and Services (CNS) Without due care, this assignment runs the risk of breaching confidentiality Confidentiality It is essential that your assignments do not breach confidentiality. Assignments which ignore confidentiality rules may fail. You must not include names or identifying information about any service user, colleague or practice agency. You should confirm at the beginning of each piece of work that you have anonymised all names and addresses. Initials are the method we require for anonymising service users (e.g. Ms J, MB, child K). If you want to cite a particular publication, which could reveal the identity of your practice placement setting, please (i) anonymise this publication in your assignment and reference list and (ii) state in your assignment that the name and author of this publication is available on request. Assignment PROJECT ESSAY TOPIC : Semi-independent accommodation – is it meeting the needs of older children in care and care leavers? Criteria for CNS PROJECT ESSAY • The academic argument is compelling. • There is recognition of the assumptions and nuances underpinning the essay question and thus of alternative arguments which might have been made. • There is sophisticated conceptual analysis • There is evidence of an extensive review of the literature including research as well as a variety of other kinds of literature such as policy documents, good practice guidance and social theory. Relevant specialist social work literature is included as well as relevant literature from other disciplines where appropriate. • There is creative and critical use of the literature, such as an attempt to use literature from a related field to cast light on an under-researched aspect of social work. • Reflections on practice (own or social work practice generally) show considerable sensitivity, subtlety and (where appropriate) self-awareness. • There is in-depth engagement with the social work context and current debates in social work, evidenced by the quantity and quality of references to them 1. Module Description The Community Needs and Services sequence considers a range of key concepts such as the nature of need, community, social work services and the significance of the service user perspective. You are expected to develop a critical understanding of the contested nature of the concepts and complexities associated with their application in policy and practice through a combination of formal teaching and a small-scale research project. Introduction The Community Needs and Services module considers a range of key concepts such as : • the nature of need, • community, • social work services • and the significance of the service user perspective. You are expected to develop a critical understanding of the contested nature of the concepts and complexities associated with their application in policy and practice through a combination of formal teaching and a small-scale research project linking social policy and social work practice. Learning Aims: • To introduce students to the social policy context of social work services • To introduce key concepts and debates involved in undertaking or understanding research within the social sciences • To ensure that students have an ability to obtain, analyse and synthesise(produce) materials on social need and community services, appropriate at PG Diploma level • To enable students to develop and demonstrate skills in numeracy, communicating using IT and using computers for information storage and analysis Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of the module you should have: • An understanding of the policy context of social work • An appreciation of a range of research methods (including quantitative and qualitative methods) and the ways in which these can be applied to social work settings • Demonstrate knowledge of the nature of need, community, social work services and the significance of the service user perspective as they apply with one group of service users • Skills in communication and presentation using information technology • Develop an understanding of leadership and its application to practice through promoting evidence- based practice • Cognitive/thinking skills · Reflect on issues of power as this relates to the development of anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice. – (presentation slide) · Develop communication and relationship skills, such as active listening, empathy, questioning styles and client self-determination. Subject skills · Have acquired advanced skills in information sharing and working together inter-professionally within the field of social work. · Gather information from a range of sources relevant to social work Transferable skills · Develop and undertake a small-scale evaluative piece of research; · Engage in effective teamwork;( Tuckman’s model of group development) · Use a range of information technology; · Apply research skills to underpin their practice interventions; Content of Sequence- Learning Areas • User perspectives on social care • Applied social policy- learning about communities, needs and services, and user/ carer involvement in service provision • Research methods and evidence based practice • Skills in Team and project work • Anti-Discriminatory Practice/Anti-Oppressive Practice The sequence consists of: • 4 Lecture/ workshops and A Briefing with your Local Authority • 3 Groups: Multiple sessions of structured groupwork with 3 X 1 Hour facilitated Sessions- • One group presentation • One hour debrief session at the end of the presentation • An individual written assignment. Your task To undertake a small-scale research project involving stakeholders of Local Authority Services. Ethical approval and user involvement Ethical approval has been sought and gained for this project. However, before you will be allowed to interview respondents, the academic facilitator for your group needs to agree that you have satisfactorily addressed the following issues. • Confidentiality (It is essential that in your presentation and assignment you do not name service users, professionals or agencies) • Storage of sensitive information • Possible impact of the research on participants • Procedures for managing disclosures that might require action (. child protection issues, grossly unprofessional behaviours) • Protection of researchers working with vulnerable groups • Written Information sheets for respondents • Written consent forms for respondents • Parental Permission for young respondents The Group Presentation – Guidelines – You will have one hour for your presentation on the presentation day. This should include roughly 45-50 minutes of presentation and 10 to 15 minutes of facilitation of discussion from the floor. The presentation should cover the following: A BRIEF overview of the scope of the project and how the group approached the work (no more than 5 minutes). A critical exploration of the concept of need, community, or service user as it relates to the CNS research topic as identified by the local authority. Evaluate how the process of the project has contributed to your understanding of need, community or service user. For example, identifying your learning from accessing individuals and groups and finding relevant material about service provision. This section should provide a critical framework for the issues arising in the next section. The second half of the presentation should focus on a specific aspect of the work of the project group. For instance, you might want to focus on a number of the following issues: Why was the local authority interested in you researching this particular issue? What did you research? How did you decide – your research decisions – to research what you did? What was your data? What did you find out – key findings? What are the implications of your findings for social work research, policy and practice? What is your evaluation of the group process? At the end of the presentation you should summarise key findings and the group’s learning. You are then responsible for facilitating questions from the floor. Each presentation should include an element of PowerPoint presentation. However, this does not need to dominate, and we would urge groups to be as creative as possible in their presentation approached. In previous years groups have used role-plays, service user involvement, videos and photography with great success. A PowerPoint PC will be available for presentations. It is expected that all group members take part in the presentation and attend the presentations by other groups. At the end of the presentations each group will meet with their facilitator for a debriefing session. Some points to remember: 1. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE POINT OF THIS PROJECT IS YOUR LEARNING. The Project has to be completed to a very tight timescale. But you should not become focussed on completing the project at the expense of your learning. It is not uncommon for groups to fail to interview service users or to interview only one or two. Much better to do this and to learn from the experience than to interview 35 and have no time to reflect – individuality and as a group – on what you are learning from the process. 2. COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT INVOLVES DIFFERENT TYPES OF TASKS Your group needs to: • Read literature on research methods • Read literature on need, service user views, community and related issues • Design your methodology • Carry-out the research Consider how you might best manage this in the group. 3. READING FOR THE ASSIGNMENT The module’s formative assignment (. group presentation) is different from the individual assignment, so please the guidance for the individual assignment as well. In our experience a good group presentation lays the foundations for a solid individual assignment. General advice You may find it helpful to consider the following in your first group meetings: 1. Agree a research question or questions in conjunction with the local authority CNS link officers and with your academic facilitators • These should provide a focus for the research • You need to strike a balance between topics that you find interesting and the feasibility of carrying out the research in a very limited time. 2. Decide on a research method or methods to provide information to answer the research question/s You might want to think about how your results could be presented at this stage and develop your method with this as one aspect of your planning. 3. Plan how you can work most effectively as a group • Your time is very limited and you will need to ensure that everyone is working effectively throughout the time working on the project. • You should plan for both the research project and the presentation. In particular, the presentation requires more than just presenting your research findings – you will need to provide contextual information and relate the project to the wider aims of the sequence. • Your academic facilitator is there to help you: but make sure you use them well. Plan how to get the best out of your facilitation sessions. Individual Written Assignment Community Needs And Services Assignment: Essay: Word length 3500 words Assignment Brief You are required to write an individual assignment demonstrating your understanding of the complexity of challenges faced by people and how these challenges can be met. In the assignment you are expected to draw on a critical understanding of a contested concept and on the work of your project group. This assignment MUST / need to address ALL the following bullet-points. • Introduction: set out the aims of the assignment • Describe the rationale for the nature of the research carried out by your group • Outline the research methods that have been used • Discuss key issues and approaches to defining ONE of the following contested concepts: “need”, “community” or “service user” • Link this discussion of a key concept to the findings of your research • Reflect on the implications of your research findings and/or your discussion on the contested concept for social work policy and practice • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of the project including methodological and ethical issues Assignment Guidance • Introduce the areas of your assignment to the reader. Set out the reasons why you picked a particular research area. • While the local authority may have identified the research area, why did they do so? • Did you have to narrow or broaden your focus after meeting with the local authority? (. political and/or personal interest; increase your knowledge in some area related to social work, understand and/or address a social problem or concern; and findings or gaps identified from previous research studies or statistics). • Did you use qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods? If so, why? • Did factors such as the research question(s), ethics, time and resources have any bearing on how you conducted the research? • How did you collect and analyse data? The essay asks you to focus on ONE contested concept (. ‘Need’ OR ‘Community’ or ‘Service User’). A good answer would outline a range of perspectives and explore similarities and differences in relation to how one of these concepts is constructed and defined. In terms of examining the ‘contested’ nature of a concept, could one or more of the following elements be considered (. philosophical, political, ideological, measurement, epistemological, level of analysis, historiography, etc.)? Can you illuminate your findings using the concept you explored? • Are there particular constructions of the term, which are more pertinent? If so, why might this be the case? • Please be careful when reflecting on the implications of your research findings and/or your discussion on the contested concept for social work policy and practice. Social work policy is not the same as social policy. Consequently, if you were to discuss housing and health policy without relating these areas to social work, there would be significant weaknesses with this section of your essay. With the final bullet point in the assignment briefing, you are reflecting back. What went/did not go so well: identify and explain. Would you do things differently? If so, why? Failure to address bullet points in the assignment briefing will result in a failed assignment. Without due care, this assignment runs the risk of breaching confidentiality. REFERENCE ON REQUEST ON YOUR BIBLOGRAPHY