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Children, young people and families

Children with adult in a school playground

What do we know really about contemporary children, young people and their families? How can we enhance the health, wellbeing and social care of children and young people? How are children, young people and families understood in society and affected by government policy, legislation and different types of practice? It is complex questions such as these that make the study of children and child care so interesting and sometimes controversial.

Through studying with us you will discover new ideas, learn from research and explore issues such as parenting, safeguarding in an age of social media, participation, assessment, transitions, play, physical and mental health, social care and wellbeing, diversity, youth justice, risk, identities, and relationships. Learn too from what children and young people themselves have to say about their own experiences including: participation in action at a primary school council and insights into the experience of living away from their families.

Working with children, young people and families in different settings in social care, health, childcare, education or youth justice can be very rewarding. Studying at the OU, you can gain relevant qualifications to help get into a career working in this sector, or further develop your current career. For a taster of the sort of issues you will study, take a look at this extract from Working together for children – a Level 3 module (equivalent to third year study at a conventional university).

All our courses focus on the real world of practice, for instance original filming for the OU level 3 module Working together for children (KE312) features a voluntary project trying to enable disabled children and young people to achieve a sense of belonging in their own community. 

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, our courses will support the development of key knowledge and skills that are required for a range of work roles in children’s services.

Courses in children, young people and families

Level 2

Making a difference: working with children and young people (KE206)

Level 3
Adulthood, ageing and the life course (KE312)