Module leader: Penny Black (p.black@uea.ac.uk)

Module teachers: Professor Beth Neil and Professor Gillian Schofield

Credit value: 20 MA credits

Module fee: £495

Submission of summative assessed work: 21st October 2020

Credits from this module can be put towards a Postgraduate Certificate, a Postgraduate Diploma the MA in Advanced Social Work or MA Mental Health. Applications are open to social workers with at least one year’s post-qualified experience.



This module will enhance practitioners’ and managers’ knowledge of policy, theory and research on child placement practice with children and families. It will be relevant for practitioners with an interest in all areas of work within care planning and child placement, including reunification, short-breaks, supporting children in care, contact, fostering, adoption, special guardianship, kinship care, residential care and leaving care.

The module will include two taught days, provided by child placement research experts Professor Beth Neil and Professor Gillian Schofield. There is support for planning the child placement essay through a formative assignment. A handbook of guidance will also be provided. The recommended text book will be Schofield, G. and Simmonds, J. (eds) (2009) The Child Placement Handbook: Research, policy and practice London: BAAF, but students will also access wider reading assisted by an online Blackboard site with an electronic reference list.



The module will provide:

  • A critical understanding of the theory, research and practice of care planning and matching / making /supporting placements (reunification, kinship, fostering, special guardianship, adoption, residential care) for children and young people. This will include the application of child development theory to assessment and planning. 
  • Knowledge of research and practice in relation to providing and supporting placements for children of all ages, from infancy through to the transition to adulthood. This will include specific issues, e.g. in relation to planning for permanence, contact, supporting birth families.
  • An understanding of the multi-disciplinary context of child placement.
  • The ability to apply theory and research to their own professional practice with children, caregivers and birth families.
  • Links between child placement knowledge and the Knowledge and Skills Statement on Achieving Permanence



The teaching days will provide participants with the opportunity to learn about and discuss current law, policy, theory and research and applications to the full range of child placement planning and practice.



The summative assessment for this module will be an essay on child placement policy, theory, research and practice relating to an area of child placement practice selected by the student.

Support for this assignment will be provided by Professor Beth Neil and Professor Gillian Schofield. Students will be required to submit a plan for this essay as a formative assignment. They will receive written feedback on the plan and guidance for the essay content and structure.

Formative assignment submission date: 24th June 2020

Summative assignment submission date: 21st October 2020

[More details of the assignment and guidance on producing the essay plan will be provided in the Handbook and on the teaching days.]



Session One: Wednesday 29th April 2020, Professor Gillian Schofield

Venue: Sportspark 1.19

Session Two: Tuesday 12th May 2020, Professor Beth Neil

Venue: UEA ARTS 01.15

Timing for both days: 10-4.30 (9.30 coffee) Lunch is not provided. Free parking available.



Please contact your agency Workforce Development Department about the application process. If this is your first CPD module at UEA you will need to register with UEA Admissions. If this is a second or further 3 CPD module you will need to enrol through the Postgraduate Learning and Teaching Hub (ZICER Building): 01603 592071;

Please ensure you have approval from your agency before you enrol.

Applications for 2019-20 should be submitted to UEA by Friday 27th March 2020.

Please be aware that teaching, assessment dates and venues, are subject to change. All up to date information will be available via your UEA Evision account once you are enrolled onto the module.