SOCWK301-22A (NET)

Managing Risk to Safeguard Children

30 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences
Social Work


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Paper Description

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This paper covers topics important to working with children and young people at risk of harm. Students will critically examine the application of social work theory and research to practice issues with children and young people, within the context of assessing and managing risk.
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Paper Structure

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SOCWK301 is taught online through a combination of Moodle-based resources and workshops, that are interspersed with interactive learning and guest speakers. The online workshops will explore the content of the paper through presentations, case study analysis, discussion and skill development. Students need to engage with Moodle to access lessons, readings, reports, other items of interest and submit assignment work. Students are expected to complete the required activities and readings in order to be prepared to actively participate in the online workshop discussions and learning exercises.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate how social work practice attends to the strengths, needs and risks facing children and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Critically examine the underlying theories and research that inform approaches to working with children and young people when responding to complex issues underpinning risk situations
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  • Use appropriate frameworks for assessment of safety and risk intervention strategies; including those most appropriate to engaging with tamariki and rangitahi Māori, and other cultural groups
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  • Critically analyse child welfare principles and processes to discern professional roles and responsibilities in practice when engaging with children, young people, their family/whānau, and their communities
    Linked to the following assessments:
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  • Students are strongly advised to attempt and submit all items of internal assessment for this paper as these assessments contribute to your demonstration of having met the SWRB core competence standards.
  • The assignments are structured to assess the paper learning outcomes. The assignments are designed to determine your ability to apply social work concepts and theoretical frameworks to risk situations, and further develop critical thinking and knowledge retention, through a group presentation, a test, an essay and a series of exercises relating to key practice considerations.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Assignment 1: Practice Considerations
16 Mar 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Assignment 2: Test
14 Apr 2022
No set time
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Assignment 3: Group Presentation
5 May 2022
9:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
  • Presentation: In Class
4. Assignment 4: Essay
12 Jun 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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There are no prescribed textbooks for this paper, but students are expected to read the weekly required readings listed in the Waikato reading list to prepare for the discussions in class. The list can be accessed here: SOCWK301 Waikato Reading List.

Highly recommended:

  • Calder, M. C. (Ed.). (2008). Contemporary risk assessment in safeguarding children. Russell House Publishing.
  • Calder, M. C., & Archer, J. (2016). Risk in child protection work: Assessment challenges and frameworks for practice. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Connolly, M., & Morris, K. (2012). Understanding child and family welfare: Statutory responses to children at risk. Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Ferguson, H. (2011). Child protection practice. Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Harms, L. (2015). Understanding trauma and resilience. Palgrave.
  • Hyslop, I. K. (2022). A political history of child protection: Lessons for reform from Aotearoa New Zealand. Policy Press.
  • Kaiwai, H., Allport, T., Herd, R., Mane, J., Ford, K., Leahy, H., Varona, G., & Kipa, M. (2020). Ko te wā whakawhiti It's time for change: A Māori inquiry into Oranga Tamariki Summary Report.
  • McMaster, K., & Bakker, L. (Eds.). (2006). Will they do it again? Assessing and managing risk. Hall McMaster & Associates.
  • Munro, E. (2020). Effective child protection (3ed.). Sage.
  • Office of the Children's Commissioner. (2020). Te Kuku O Te Manawa: Moe ararā! Haumanutia ngā moemoeā a ngā tūpuna mō te oranga o ngā tamariki (Report 2).
  • Waitangi Tribunal. (2021). Hepāharakeke, He Rito Whakakīkinga Whāruarua Oranga Tamariki Urgent Inquiry (Waitangi Tribunal Report no. 2915).
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Online Support

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Moodle will be used as an online learning and communication platform for this paper. Moodle can be accessed from All course related communication will be managed through Moodle. Students can contact the lecturer via email or using the message function on Moodle. Students are encouraged to use the ‘Student Discussion Space’ forum available on Moodle if you think that your enquiry could be useful for other students as well.

The provision of any materials from guest lecturers is at the discretion of the speaker. Students are required to do weekly readings before each class to prepare for the online workshop and activities.
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  • The total hours for this paper are 300 hours (30 points). This paper has 36 hours of class contact time. Successful completion of the paper will require approximately 264 hours for study and assignment preparation. This means students need to spend at least 20-24 hours per week working in addition to attending weekly workshops. These figures are only approximations as students vary in both the amount of effort required and the level of grades they wish to achieve.
  • Students are expected to attend all workshops and actively participate in class discussions and activities..
  • Students are expected to complete the recommended readings in order to come prepared for class discussion on the readings.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite Papers: All required papers in Years 1 and 2 of the BSW specified programme.




Restricted Papers: SOCW303 and SOCWK303

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