Webwatch: New Apps launched on Understanding Child Development for NI workforce

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council in partnership with Ulster University, Queen’s University Belfast and the Departments of Health and Education, developed a series of Understanding Child Development Apps.

Social work is increasingly a mobile profession and the new Apps provide a response to the demands and pressures of this mobility through an easy to use and accessible digital resource.
The Apps have been developed to support student social workers on the Degree in Social Work, newly qualified social workers and practitioners, to enhance their knowledge of child development.

The Apps are free resources and include:

  • Access to bite-size information and video links on child developmental milestones relevant to each age group;
  • Theoretical frameworks, knowledge summaries and references;
  • NI legislation and policy;
  • Case studies based on realistic scenarios in practice;
  • Specific issues including; mental health, substance misuse, suicide, bullying, sexual exploitation and sexual relations.

How can the Apps benefit you as a practitioner? 

The Apps are helping practitioners to interact with children in an age-appropriate way and to share information with parents and carers.
Practitioners can encourage parents to use them to inform their own understanding of their child’s current developmental stage and what to expect in terms of their behaviour and needs.
For example, the Apps include short videos and these provide parents with visual content and information about how to manage unexpected but normal developmental behaviour.

In Northern Ireland, Social Work practice educators are using the Apps:

  • To reinforce classroom based theory with practical examples;
  • To provide speedy access to examples of legislation and theory to govern practice.
  • To provide concise guidance notes for social work practitioners and early years educators and practitioners;
  • To provide examples of how to use the Apps with students, parents and carers.
Patricia Higgins, The Social Care Council, Interim Chief Executive, commented: “The Social Care Council was delighted to accept the husITa Award. The Apps were our first steps into mobile learning solutions. Thanks to our technology partners and the content authors, Anne Campbell from Queen’s University and Mary McColgan from Ulster University, the Apps have surpassed all expectations.”
The Apps are available free on both Android and IOS smart phones and tablets.
Find out more about these innovative Apps at: https://learningzone.niscc.info/learning-resources