Collaborative Working with Children, Young People & Families FdA
What makes Collaborative Working with Children, Young People & Families at Worcester special?
Child and family services have experienced rapid and substantial changes in recent years, both structurally and financially. This course prepares you to thrive in this challenging environment and adapt to the diverse needs of children, young people and families.
Through an innovative blend of personal reflection, online activity, face-to-face teaching and practice placements, you will become a confident practitioner in family support and children’s and young people’s welfare.
- Our programme is offered through the flexible-and-distributed learning (FDL) route. This integrates independent engagement with regular online learning activities, attendance at Saturday face-to-face workshops and authentic workplace experience.
- The FDL route is designed to fulfill a balance of work, life and study. It also means that it is not necessary to arrange student accommodation on campus and instead can study from home.
- The course can be taken full-time over two years or part-time over three years.
- There are no exams. Assessment supports your development in outstanding professional practice. Forms of assessment include group and individual presentations, report writing and reflective essays.
- You can apply for tuition fee loans to cover the cost of the degree if you fulfil the appropriate criteria (for more information, please visit our Undergraduate Loans page).
The whole philosophy of the course, which values the students’ experiences and ‘voice’ and which develops a sense of competence within students to join the children’s workforce as really thoughtful, reflective and reflexive practitioners, is a real strength.
What is flexible-and-distributed learning?
The flexible-and-distributed learning (FDL) route integrates:
• regular engagement with online learning activities accessed via a virtual learning environment (ten per module each academic year)
• live webinars with course tutors
• face-to-face workshops on Saturdays (eight each academic year)
• attendance at a Centre for Children and Families Annual Conference
• work and practice-based learning activity (six practice-based learning tasks each academic year)
• 600 hours (minimum) of practice experience in approved workplaces or placements over the duration of the course.
The FDL nature of this course means that you will use email, telephone and webinars to make most contact with your tutors. You will also complete independent and collaborative online activities in the virtual learning environment each fortnight. You will see your tutors and fellow students face-to-face at our Saturday workshops.
You will also benefit from the support of your University Personal Academic Tutor and Work-Based Learning Co-ordinator. You'll also have access to university-wide support, such as Student Services and Library Services.
Each member of your teaching team is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. These members are former leaders of early intervention services, including local family welfare services and education welfare services.
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What qualifications will you need?
UCAS tariff points
56 UCAS tariff points
A minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above (including English), or recognised equivalent.
A current Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
Course leaders will also consider non-standard entry routes.
All applicants who are working or undertaking voluntary work placements with children, young people and families will be required to provide:
- a statement of support from your current employer or voluntary placement (to provide the time, opportunity and provision of support for work-based requirements, as well as release to attend university-based study, when appropriate).
- a testimony or reference from an appropriately qualified referee.
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Indicative Course Content
What will you study?
The course comprises eight 30-credit modules.
Full-time students will take four modules each year.
Part-time students will take three modules in their first and second years and two modules in their third and final year.
Transition to Higher Education and Transformation of Practice establishes the academic expectations of this degree (in semester 1) as well as the practice expectations of students transforming family support practice in the current climate of children's and adult services (in semester 2). Its primary focus is students' academic and professional development.
The Nature and Culture of Childhood and Adulthood troubles accounts of human development provided by biological and cognitive perspectives as socio-cultural understandings of what constitutes a child, young person and adult in 21st-century England. By focusing on children's, young people's and families' experiences of professional family support.
21st-Century Family: Diversity and Support examines how professionals design support to the full range of family structures and family practices when faced with a wide range of acute difficulty. Its primary focus is the perspective of professionals and professional collaboration in designing effective support – we want to be part of the solution and not the problem.
Children's Welfare in Political Landscapes engages with the political debates and narratives surrounding 'what's best' for children and young people as well as support for families 'who need it most'. It is an introduction to the critical analysis of family support policy that characterises Level 5 modules.
Adapting Professional Practice: Child-Centred Interventions encourages students to move beyond slavish compliance with standardised child and family assessments. Instead, students are supported to develop a light-footed agility to apply practice principles across a range of situations so that children’s needs rather than professional convenience are at the heart of our actions.
Safeguarding Children’s Rights in Family Contexts builds on Professor Eileen Munro’s Review of Child Protection (2011) by developing a learning culture of safeguarding in early help work. We reflect on the steps we take to hear children’s voices amidst the cacophony and clamour of safeguarding situations.
Employability in Landscapes of Current Child Welfare Practice supports us to build a professional profile characterised by this course’s values and examples of our outstanding contributions to collaborative work with children, young people and families. Each student develops a personal e-portfolio which they retain after the course has ended and which highlights their employability in the ever-shifting landscape of child welfare practice.
The course’s Long Study provides students with the opportunity to engage in a year-long research project focused on an area of practice that is of particular interest to them. The study’s structure expects students to approach this interest from the perspective of professional supervision and encourages them to anticipate the key areas that would need to be addressed with a supervisor.
Teaching and Assessment
How will you be taught?
Teaching and Learning
The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.
The flexible-and-distributed learning (FDL) route integrates:
- regular engagement with online learning activities accessed via a virtual learning environment (ten per module each academic year)
- live webinars with course tutors
- face-to-face workshops on Saturdays (eight each academic year)
- attendance at a Centre for Children and Families Annual Conference
- work and practice-based learning activity (six practice-based learning tasks each academic year)
- 600 hours (minimum) of practice experience in approved workplaces or placements over the duration of the course.
You will also benefit from the support of your university Personal Academic Tutor and work-based learning co-ordinator in addition to university-wide support of Student Services and Library Services among others.
The FDL nature of this course means that you will use email, telephone and webinars to make most contact with your tutors, in addition to the independent and collaborative online activities posted to the virtual learning environment each fortnight. You will see your tutors and fellow students face-to-face at the course’s Saturday workshops.
In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 12 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve using the online learning activity to integrate practice-based learning with the course’s learning outcomes. The course provides you with the support to develop reflective and reflexive dispositions towards learning in work.
A range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources, supports independent learning.
You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. Each member of your teaching team is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. The team includes former leaders of early intervention services, including local family welfare services and education welfare services. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.
The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments, which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.
Assessment methods include individual and group presentations, reflective logs and essays, a long study and the construction of a professional webfolio.
The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:
Four assignments in January and four in May. The January assessment marks are weighted 30% of your overall mark for each module. The May assessment marks are weighted 70% of your overall mark for each module to enable you to respond positively to feedback offered by tutors in the earlier assignments. The January and May assessments balance face-to-face presentations and electronically submitted written work.
As per Year 1, except the long study does not have a January assessment point. Instead, it is submitted in May. Year 2 assessment methods also include presentations, webfolio construction and a reflective essay.
You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal coursework assessments. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.
We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.
You will also receive ongoing feedback through Blackboard, the virtual learning environment, where you will upload your formative writing and reflections. This feedback is always oriented towards building on your strengths to prepare you to submit your very best work for final assessment.
What do current students say about the course?
Ruth (Level 5, Year 2)
I am a Family Support Practitioner working in an ever-changing landscape of family support. I always wondered why we face so many changes and challenges and are always asked to work to specific criteria.
I chose Collaborative Working with Children, Young People and Families because I wanted to underpin my knowledge and to understand the reasons behind the policies. I also wanted to challenge myself to see if I was able to study at university level.
Learning so much about how the system works and why it works as it does has been a real highlight for me. But, also, this course has given me the confidence to challenge existing practice, within Children Services. For example, my favourite moment in placement so far was when I have challenged my colleagues and managers on decisions. (My course placements have included children’s social care and my current employment as a Family Support Practitioner.)
The course’s FDL delivery fits in with my family and work life. I work at my own pace to fit around my children and enjoy meeting up with the course group once a month. If the course was not FDL, I would not have been able to do it.
My goal after this course is to do the Integrated Working with Children and Families BA (Hons) top-up degree to give me more knowledge and understanding and develop my skills even further.
If I could sum up this course in one word, it would be ‘Fantastic!’
Daniela (Level 5, Year 2)
I chose Collaborative Working with Children, Young People and Families because I knew I wanted to develop my skills and knowledge in a course that would lead me to a career in working with families where I can make a difference to their lives. I was drawn to the course’s flexible-and-distributed learning (FDL) delivery because it does not disrupt my life as a full-time mother. Instead I am fully supported by the university. For example, in Year 1 we looked at our own transitions into higher education and how we can manage our time efficiently.
This course engages in a variety of interesting modules, a range of assessments such as reports, presentations and journals as well as being able work on group tasks and on individual assessments. My goal after this course is to complete the top-up degree successfully and I am considering the Masters degree in Social Work.
My placements have included working in a family centre supporting the delivery and running of a variety of groups, including a group of children with special and additional needs. I used this experience to make a presentation to the course which looked at support for children with autism as well as how family support workers can best support the families who care for these children.
If I could sum up this course in one word, it would be ‘Transformative!’ Not only am I transforming and developing as a student and worker, this course allows us to delve deeper into the very transforming role of family support work.
Jade (Level 5, Year 2)
I chose Collaborative Working with Children, Young People and Families because I am passionate about working with children and families.
I am a Senior Targeted Family Support Worker and this course opens so many doors for my career in the future. Its interesting modules, amazing people and the sense of achievement when completing assignments are the course's highlights.
The flexibility of the course's FDL delivery enables me to juggle work, family and study time to suit me.
If I could sum up this course in one word, it would be ‘Amazing!’
Where could it take you?
The course has been designed to help you make a significant and positive contribution in any early intervention services.
- Health and education settings (as well as within the housing sector)
- Custodial settings
- Supporting corporate parents with statutory responsibilities to look-after children.
By working with partners in the statutory and voluntary sectors, the course reflects the most current landscape of child and family support practice. Our content enables you to navigate with appropriate practice principles and insight.
You can also progress to further study. On completion of this Foundation Degree, you are eligible to continue to relevant study at Level 6, including a top-up to full BA (Hons) Degree.
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How much will it cost?
Full-time tuition fees
UK and EU students
The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2018/19 is £9,250 per year.
For more details, please visit our course fees page.
Part-time tuition fees
UK and EU students
This foundation degree comprises eight 30-credit modules, which cost £2,313 each for students registering in the academic year 2018/19.
For more details, please visit our course fees page.
Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.
Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.
We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £98 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £159 per week.
For full details visit our accommodation page.
How do you apply?
Applying through UCAS
Collaborative Working with Children, Young People & Families FdA - L591
UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.