SOCY06044 2016 Children and Social Policy
Children and social policy will provide a critical examination of national policies that impact the lives of children and their families, and the provision of early childhood care and education services in Ireland. It will explore the functions of the early years policy and examine how cultural and societal beliefs influence the models of service provision in Ireland. Students will consider emerging issues, in particular, how policy can support the development of a ‘nurturing pedagogy’ and how targeted early intervention can address issues of inequality within society. The emphasis in the module will be to promote critical reflection on the significant issues in the field of childhood policy and provision. Finally, students will appraise the range of voluntary and statutory bodies and services that support children, families and early childhood services.
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;
- Understand the scope of social policy and the historical influences on the development of social policy with reference to children and families in Irish society.
- Assess the impact of international policy perspectives on the development of children's social policy in Ireland in particular how it relates to equality and the rights of the child.
- Appraise the role of the relevant agencies (statutory & non-statutory) in the development of policy and provision of early years services.
- Consider how policy can support the development of a nurturing pedagogical approach to education & care in the early years services.
- Critically assess the range of state services available to children and families in particular the targeted approach to combatting disadvantage and the role of childrens' policy in addressing the challenges of inequality.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Lectures will present and analyse the key theoretical concepts underpinning the the development, implementation and impact of social policy omn teh lives of children in Ireland. The tutorials will adopt a facilitatory approach to learning encouraging students discussion and analysis around the impact of social policy initiatives, programmes and practices within the early years sector. Case studies will be presented. Group work willl be encouraged to develop the students critical analysis skills.
Module Assessment Strategies
This modules aims to introduce students to social policy and its impact on childrens lives in Ireland. The assessment strategy adopted will encourage the student to critically analyse existing policies within the wider sector. The student will work, using a problem solving approach to identify, critically analyse and provide recommendatiosn about a policy issue they have identifiied. Students will work to develop a policy report, present their findings and recommendations within a peer-led workshop and provide an individual reflection on the role of policy work to practitioners. These three areas of assesment account for 100% of the marks allocation for this module.
Students will repeat the assessed task which has not been completed or has failed to pass on the first attempt.
Introduction to social policy: historical development of social policy in Irish society, influences and key historical developments from 1850’s to date
Early years policy in Ireland, contemporary policy developments and service provision
Health Care & Educations – key legislation, policy directions and service provision for early years
Re-thinking the ‘caring nature of education and the educative nature of care’, understanding how social policy can support the concept of ‘nurturing pedagogy’ in early years care & education
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children & Young People 2014-2020, the role of the Children’s Ombudsman and the rights based approach to the development of childrens’ policy
The role of social policy in addressing the challenges of wider social disadvantage within our society, the universal versus targeted approach to service provision
Policy support for quality in Early Years service provision
An exploration of current innovative services and/or programmes in the early childhood sector including Siolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education; Aistear, the early years curriculum; the emergence of programmes in areas designated as disadvantaged (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools DEIS; the Prevention and Early Intervention Programme)
Evidence based policy making and integrated service provision, the role of Tusla, CYPSY committees and the new Meitheal
The NGO sector: early childhood organisations and their influence in the development of policy and service provision
Coursework & Assessment Breakdown
|Title||Type||Form||Percent||Week||Learning Outcomes Assessed|
|1||Policy Analysis Report||Continuous Assessment||Group Project||100 %||Week 12||1,2,3,4,5|
Full Time Mode Workload
Alcock, P., May, M., and Rowlingson, K. (eds) (2008): The Student's Companion to Social Policy (3 rd Edition). London: Blackwell Press.
Considine, M. and Dukelow, F. (2009): Irish Social Policy: a critical introduction. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
Fanning, B., and Rush, M. (2006): Care and Social Change in the Irish Welfare Economy. Dublin: University College Dublin Press.
Moss, P. (2006): From Children's Services to Children's spaces: public policy, children and childhood. London: Routledge.
Oliver, C.M. (2008): Developing Advocacy for Children and Young People: current issues in research, policy and practice. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Parsons, W. (1995), Public Policy: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
Healy, S., Reynolds, B., and Collins, M. L. (2006): Social Policy in Ireland: Principles, Practice and Problems. (2 nd edition). Dublin. The Liffey Press.
Electronic access to Administration, Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, Irish Political Studies Journal and Irish Journal of Sociology.
Module Moodle page