“The first text to systematically address the learning needs of post-qualifying child care social workers. Soundly organized and engagingly written with useful summaries and reflective exercises for students, it is a very fine text that will be widely used.”

– Nick Pike, University of Gloucestershire

This textbook provides an overview of the Post Qualifying Child Care Award in social work. Written in response to recent policy and training guidelines, it provides the underpinning knowledge for candidates following the Post Qualifying curriculum. It helps child care social workers acquire and develop the breadth of knowledge and understanding that characterise best practice.

Key Features

  • Includes chapters on reflective collaborative and critical practice; child development; child observation; case management and managing risk; working in partnership with children and families; inter-professional working and practice education
  • Offers links to the relevant post qualifying standards for social work
  • Presents contributions from a team of practice assessors and program candidates
  • Provides a practice-based approach — clearly links theory, research and practice
  • Gives an inter-professional perspective
  • Incorporates case studies, activities and points for reflection that encourage the reader to develop ways of challenging and improving their own practice

The book equips social workers with the relevant training, knowledge and skills to improve the quality of services and their delivery. With an emphasis upon continuing professional development, this text is suitable for social workers studying for the Child Care Award, those already in practice and other social care professionals working with children.

Focus on the Child

Focus on the child

Chapter Learning Aims

  • To identify internal and external influences that shape the development of a child or young person
  • To explore the issues, particularly in relation to risk and resilience that inform our understanding of childhood, children and young people
  • To review the impact of government and professionals on the development of the child and young person
  • To consider the place of childhood in our times
  • To evaluate the impact of natural parenting and state caring on children's development and behaviour


  • PQ Candidate: ‘There's no such thing as childhood anymore.’
  • Me: ‘No?’
  • PQ Candidate: ‘They've taken it away.’
  • Me: ‘They have?’
  • PQ Candidate: ‘Government, scientists, the media and experts and that includes us.’
(PQ candidate)

Social workers entering any post-qualifying course of study often speak of feeling burdened by ...

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