Special Postgraduate Course


This post qualifying course is aimed at social workers and managers in children and families’ teams, family placement teams as well as other specialist settings across the statutory, voluntary and independent sector. Applicants will require the support of their employer to attend as well as validate their work. It is imperative that sponsoring agencies ensure their nominated students have the motivation, capacity and commitment to complete the course.

The course is at MSc Level 11 and attracts an award of 60 credits (postgraduate certificate) which can be taken forward to further study. The course is validated by Strathclyde University.

The course requires attendance at three taught modules of three consecutive days per module.  Assessment will be on the basis of three written assignments as well as an assessed observation in the workplace. Comprehensive feedback is available to students. A student handbook will provide all the required information. 

Course description

Module One:  Steps to permanence

Module one will focus on permanence planning for children. It will explore the journey of the child through the various decision-making aspects. The themes will be exploring outcomes for looked after children, assessing parenting capacity, considering contact in both temporary and permanent care as well as the placement of children with or without their siblings. A social policy and legal overview will be provided as well as messages from research. This will enable students to assess and analyse their role in evidencing good practice.

Module Two:  Keeping the child central to planning

Module two develops the themes by exploring what is meant by child centred practice. The themes will be a consideration of child development including attachment, brain development, resilience, impact of trauma, identity, education and health outcomes, life story work, direct work with children as well as looking at values and children’s rights. This module will also look at outcomes for children in permanent fostering as well as linking and matching. 

Module Three:  Assessing and supporting carers

Module three considers all aspects of working with, supporting and reviewing substitute carers with particular reference to kinship carers. The themes will be an exploration of all aspects of assessment including risk, supervising and reviewing foster carers, assessing difference, looking at disruption as well as considering adoption support. The life-long nature of adoption will be emphasised through an adoptive parent’s contribution.

AFA Scotland is registered as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) - SC046417