These are the key points in Learning Guide 1: The children and young people’s workforce is large and diverse. Its composition raises some important questions about who works with children and in what sort of organisations. Policy and legislation increasingly vary across the UK as devolution becomes more firmly established. It is important to understand the context most relevant to you, but valuable learning can also be drawn from comparing developments in different contexts and countries. Developing the skill of reflection can enhance your learning from the module and day-to-day practice. •What are some of the key professional standards used by practitioners across the UK? •What are some of the different ways of understanding children, young people, their families and the services that are provided for them? •What knowledge, skills and values are required to support ‘good practice’? These are the key points in Learning Guide 2 There are five key themes, emphasising theories, frameworks or aspects of working with children young people and families, which will recur throughout the module.
Practice can be seen as consisting of three intertwined elements of knowledge, skill and values. What constitutes good or effective practice is complex and open to discussion and debate. Attempting to measure good practice through outcomes can play a role in improving practice with children and families but also has some major limitations. 3 •How does social constructionist theory help with our understanding of children and families? •How does practice involve relationships between children, young people, families, community and society?
How does this change across time? •What is a social ecological perspective and how can it help us to understand and develop practice with children, young people and families? These are the key points in Learning Guide 3 An ecological perspective is useful for making sense of the complexities that surround working with children, young people and families. Ecological models can support how we think about practice and how we organise practice – including policy, assessment and collaborative relationships such as multi-agency working.
Ecological models are not static; they need to take into consideration changes to people, communities and society across time. 4 •What are the different levels that make up a web of relationships? •What is social constructionism? •How is social constructionism useful in understanding how the lives of children, young people and families are constructed? •What are the implications of social constructionism for practice? These are the key points in Learning Guide 4
Social constructionist theory argues that understandings of childhood, development and appropriate care for children and young people vary between different historical and geographical/cultural/family contexts Viewing development as a stage-based pathway is strongly embedded in practice and legislation, with understandings of children and young people often based on their age and perceived developmental stage Development as a stage-based pathway needs to be approached with caution as it has implications for some children and young people who are not easily accommodated within the ‘normative’ assumptions of the pathway •What are some of the broad ways that power operates, as identified by Foucault?