What do we know really about contemporary childhood and youth? How can we enhance the wellbeing of children and young people? How are children young people and families understood in society and affected by policy? It is complex questions such as these that make the study of children and child care so interesting and sometimes controversial.
Through studying with The Open University you will discover new ideas, learn from research and explore issues such as safeguarding, participation, parenting, transitions, play, health and well-being, diversity, risk, identities, and relationships. Learn too from what children and young people themselves have to say about their own experiences including: reflections from a unique ten-year longitudinal study of young people; participation in action at a primary school council; and insights from the experience of being in care.
Working with children, young people and families can be very rewarding and through study with the OU you can gain valuable qualifications to help get into a career working in this sector, or develop your career through higher level continuing professional development.
Whether you’re starting out on a career, or looking for post-qualifying continuing professional development, the OU’s courses span a huge range from introductory courses through to qualifying degree in social work and post-qualifying options.
If you have little experience of higher education, short openings courses such as Understanding children and young people are a great place to start to develop your study skills, knowledge and confidence.
A career working with children, young people and families?
All our courses focus on the real world of practice, for instance original filming for the OU Level 3 course Working together for children features a voluntary project (Plus Stirling) trying to enable disabled children and young people to achieve a sense of belonging in their own community.
You might also be interested in children’s social work – the OU is the UK’s largest provider of a part-time, work-based route to qualifying as a social worker.
Studying youth justice offers options for those working in the youth justice system to develop professional knowledge skills and qualifications – these might also be of interest to you if you’re looking for a career in this area.
Our courses and qualifications aim not only to challenge our accepted views and perspectives of children, young people and families today but also explore the implications of this for real world practice. Over half a million people work in paid employment with children in health, social care, education and the voluntary sector, and hundreds of thousand more in informal settings such as playgroups, youth groups, sports clubs. Whatever your area of interest you will be studying alongside this whole range of practitioners which also reflects the increasingly interagency nature of work in children’s services.
Interactive course material, multi-media on-line learning guides, specially written books, up to date policy links across the whole of the UK, and the vast resources of the OU library, will help develop your knowledge, skills and values in a changing society and rapidly changing practice environment. You can study with us whether your interest is personal or professional. You may just be interested in the changing experience of children and young people, being currently in practice is not essential. If you work or are thinking of working with children and young people Open University courses will support the development of the key knowledge and skills that are required for a range of work roles in children’s services.
Children & Society Podcast
Lindsay O'Dell, Editor of Children & Society talks to Nigel Parton about a policy review he has written for the journal about the Munro Review.