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Using relevant factual and theoretical knowledge including findings from 2 public inquiries/serious case reviews, (at least one serious case review should focus focuses on child care AND which in addition has substantial Social Work involvement)

SWK335  - WORKING IN ORGANISATIONS                   


A  3,000 word assignment based on the following title, represents the summative assessment for this module.

Using relevant factual and theoretical knowledge including findings from  2  public inquiries/serious case reviews, (at least one serious case review should focus focuses on child care AND which in addition has substantial Social Work involvement), critically analyse the roles and responsibilities of the Professional Social Worker in a social work organisation and identify “best practice”.This is not a reflective practice assignment, the emphasis here is on analysis of factual and relevant theoretical knowledge and evaluation of same in order to identify “best social work practice”.

The differentiation between factual and theoretical knowledge follows Trevithick’s distinction with :

Factual – representing the findings and recommendations of inquiries/serious case reviews

                 Relevant legislation and policy – especially that relating to “quality and continuous improvement”.

                 NISCC Standards

                 DoH Service Framework Standards etc.

Theoretical – themes covered in lectures relating to working in organizations and the importance of understanding individual practice in the context of the organisational setting. You may wish to develop lines of argument which reinforce the significance of the latter, albeit, with recognition of ultimate professional responsibility resting with the individual.

This includes literature relating to the promotion of organisational change.

Breadth in terms of reading including consideration of relevant international literature is encouraged.


As with any assignment, the introduction should set out content and structure plus any lines of argument being pursued.

Following this some contextualisation of the work is required – main sources lectures 1 and 2, eg. Relevant legislation and policy related to quality improvement.

Thereafter, entering the main body of the work, care needs to be taken in selection of relevant inquiries/serious case reviews. The assignment title indicates selection of at least 2 or 3 relevant reports and given the level of depth in analysis required plus the relatively limited word count at your disposal, you are unlikely to go beyond detailed consideration of more reports than this. Even within this, there is no expectation that you would address all findings and recommendations from a chosen report, rather you would select on the basis of importance and relevance in terms of themes such as bureaucracy and management, communication/multi-disciplinary working etc.. See both lecture notes and the work you have produced for seminars.

This is not to suggest that you cannot refer to other relevant reports, rather, it is to avoid, the assignment being overrun in terms of listing reviews and detailed description of same.

Whatever themes you choose to focus on, you have a couple of obvious options for the construction of the main body of the work. You can consider one inquiry report at a time with associated themes or choose a cross-cutting approach which is led by themes and linked to several reports.

Remember through a process of analysis and evaluation in your discussion you are identifying “best practice”. Please note that this is not an historical treatise, so be careful about selection and avoid substantial consideration of dated reviews.

Your conclusion should identify generalisable and transferable learning related to best practice based on the main body of the work and consistent with your chosen themes and lines of argument.

As ever the Harvard Referencing System is the required format for referencing – see June, 2016 version  produced by Library for Faculty of Social Sciences

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