Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

SOWK409 Decision-making in Child Welfare

Critical examination, using the decision-making ecology framework, of macro, institutional and individual decision-maker influences on decision making in response to child abuse and neglect.

Decision making in the context of child welfare is complex. It is seldom straightforward and requires a broad range of knowledge, skills and reflective capacities. It relies not only on the individual practitioner, but is also shaped by institutional, cultural and macro contexts. This paper explores decision-making research, with a view to contributing to critical and thoughtful practitioners.

Paper title Decision-making in Child Welfare
Paper code SOWK409
Subject Social Work
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2022 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,403.61
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

Restriction
SOWK 509
Limited to
BSW
Contact

socialwork@otago.ac.nz

Teaching staff

Associate Professor Emily Keddell

Paper Structure
Modules:
  • Module one: Understanding the child welfare decision-making environment
  • Module two: Who is 'at risk'?
  • Module three: Individual factors impacting on decision making
  • Module four: Different approaches to decision making in response to risk
  • Module five: Risk, safety and harm
  • Module six: Ethical and moral aspects of decision making
Teaching Arrangements

There are two compulsory workshops for this paper - one at the start and one at the end of semester.

Textbooks
Readings will be provided online. There is no set text.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Ethics, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will
  1. Be able to critically analyse the child welfare decision-making environment, recognising the legal, ethical, social, cultural and political dimensions shaping the parameters of decision making in this context
  2. Be able to identify institutional influences on judgement, including organisational cultures, feedback, groupthink, participatory decision-making processes, interprofessional decision making and the influence of the resource environment
  3. Understand the individual drivers of decision making, including values and beliefs, cultural differences, cognitive processes, and the situated, interpretive and dialogic nature of decision making
  4. Be able to describe differing approaches to decision making in the child welfare environment, specifically actuarial, professional discretion, safety-oriented and relationship-based practice approaches
  5. Be able to apply relevant research in the areas of risk, safety and harm, trauma, ethics, parental and child participation and parenting capacity to decision making

^ Top of page

Timetable

Not offered in 2022

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system
Blackboard

Critical examination, using the decision-making ecology framework, of macro, institutional and individual decision-maker influences on decision making in response to child abuse and neglect.

Decision making in child welfare is complex and requires a broad range of knowledge, skills and reflective capacities. Decision-making in this high stakes environment relies not only on individual practitioners, but is shaped by institutional, cultural and macro influences. This paper explores decision-making in the Aotearoa New Zealand context, and aims to develop critically reflective practitioners.

Paper title Decision-making in Child Welfare
Paper code SOWK409
Subject Social Work
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period(s) Semester 1 (On campus)
Semester 1 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,442.12
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

Restriction
SOWK 509
Limited to
BSW
Contact

socialwork@otago.ac.nz

Teaching staff

Associate Professor Emily Keddell

Teaching Arrangements

The Distance Learning offering of this paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

There are two compulsory workshops for this paper - one at the start and one at the end of semester.

Textbooks
Readings will be provided online. There is no set text.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Ethics, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will:

  • Be able to critically analyse the child welfare decision-making environment, recognising the legal, ethical, social, cultural and political dimensions shaping the parameters of decision making in the Aotearoa New Zealand context. This includes the influence of colonisation and disparities for Māori.
  • Be able to identify institutional influences on judgement, including organisational cultures, feedback, groupthink, team decision-making processes, interprofessional decision making and the influence of the resource environment
  • Understand the individual drivers of decision making, including values and beliefs, cultural differences, cognitive processes (including biases), and the interpretive and dialogic nature of decision making
  • Be able to describe differing approaches to, and processes of, decision making in the child welfare environment. Approaches include actuarial/predictive, professional discretion, safety-oriented, Kaupapa Māori and relationship-based practice approaches. Processes include participatory practice with children and whānau, and culturally diverse decision-making processes.
  • Be able to apply relevant research in the areas of risk, safety, trauma, ethics, parenting capacity, and participation to decision making practice.

^ Top of page

Timetable

Semester 1

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Wednesday 13:00-14:50 11-13, 16-21

Workshop

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Thursday 10:00-15:50 22
Friday 10:00-15:50 10

Semester 1

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system
Blackboard