Complex work with vulnerable children and youth (BBA301)

The purpose of the course is to give students broad knowledge about trauma and complex child welfare problem areas, and skills in the application of acquired knowledge in social education work involving vulnerable children and young people.

Course description for study year 2024-2025. Please note that changes may occur.


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The course addresses the complexity of social pedagogical work involving vulnerable children, young people and families. The purpose is to provide students with research-based knowledge about topics such as violence, abuse, substance abuse, and flight. The course will use research, user knowledge and practical knowledge as tools to provide students with in-depth critical, analytical and reflexive knowledge about relational work involving vulnerable children, young people and families with complex challenges. The course will also provide students with skills in mapping, analysing and planning intervention work with vulnerable or traumatised children, young people and families.

Learning outcome

After successfully completing and passing the course, candidates will have achieved the following learning outcomes defined in the form of


  • Has knowledge about how complex problem areas such as violence, abuse, neglect, substance abuse and mental health affect children’s upbringing and childhood.
  • Has knowledge about communication and conflict management in work involving children, young people and families living with complex challenges.
  • Has knowledge about drugs, addiction, effects, mental health and challenges faced by children and young people as relatives.
  • Has knowledge about diversity and possible challenges related to exclusion, minority and indigenous status in society.
  • Has knowledge about quantitative research methods, and their possibilities and limitations in research on topics such as violence, abuse, substance abuse, mental health among (vulnerable) children and young people.


  • Can apply research knowledge, experiential knowledge and knowledge from children, young people and parents in work to safeguard children and young people’s perspectives, and facilitate collaboration in work involving the investigation, mapping and planning of interventions.
  • Can map and analyse which methods and interventions are suitable for working with complex issues involving children, young people or families.
  • Can apply knowledge about different milieu therapeutic approaches in order to create the best possible interventions for vulnerable children and young people.
  • can apply academic knowledge to communicate and collaborate appropriately with children, young people and parents/guardians, and can talk to children about topics such as neglect, violence and abuse.
  • Can apply academic knowledge and discretion to guide children, young people and their parents and guardians in relation to support services and interventions regarding violence, abuse and other traumatic experiences.
  • Can update their knowledge about complex topics such as violence, abuse, neglect, flight and children as relatives, within the field of child welfare educator work.
  • Can read academic articles, analyse, reflect, be critical of and apply different sources of knowledge, such as research-based knowledge, practice-based knowledge and knowledge disseminated by children, young people and parents.
  • Can obtain information about and apply legislation, regulations and guidelines in relation to work involving children, young people and families living with trauma such as violence, neglect, abuse, as well as challenges such as drug addiction, mental disorders and exclusion.
  • Can apply knowledge from the course in a methodical and scientific manner.
  • Can conduct analyses, read and understand quantitative data based on knowledge from the course.
  • Can obtain and analyse qualitative data.
  • Can conduct a literature review.

General competence

  • can use knowledge, skills and experiences to meet children, young people and families in a vulnerable life situation with understanding, empathy and recognition.
  • Can use different sources of knowledge to analyse, assess and facilitate child welfare work involving children and young people who have been exposed to trauma.
  • Has insight into their own preconceptions, attitudes and values, and the importance of relationship skills regarding work involving children, young people and families who have experienced trauma, and also with regard to diversity.
  • Can document and convey professional assessments in work involving complex topics, both orally and in writing.

Required prerequisite knowledge

BBA101 Child development and developmental environment, BBA102 Children and youth at risk, BBA103 Welfare policy and welfare organisation, BBA104 Welfare law, BBA201 Socio-pedagogical work with children and youth, BBA202 Work in child welfare service

Recommended prerequisites

BBAP20 Practical studies


Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Take home exam 1/1 5 Days Letter grades

The home examination consists of a written individual assignment, scope 3000 words (+/- 10%), excluding table of contents and bibliography. Referencing style: APA 7th. The topic of the assignment will be defined by the course coordinator.Consequences of failing a re-scheduled examination: If the student does not pass the examination at the re-scheduled examination at the latest, the student must re-sit the examination for the course with the subsequent year group. Any examination parts and compulsory coursework that have already been passed do not need to be retaken. The student must take the examination in accordance with the relevant course description for the course, which may be new or revised. The student can decide whether they want to attend the teaching in the new examination semester.

Coursework requirements

Compulsory attendance, Written assignment, Presentation

All compulsory activities (3) must be approved in order for the student to take the examination. Approval/non-approval of compulsory activities is announced on Studentweb, normally no later than 7 days before the examination. Students who lack approval of one or more compulsory activities will be withdrawn from the examination.

Attendance requirements: 75% compulsory participation in the seminars.

Written assignment: Written individual assignment, scope 2000 words (+/- 10%), excluding table of contents and bibliography. Referencing style: APA 7th. The topic of the assignment will be defined by the course coordinator.

Presentation: Writing and presentation of group assignment, as well as facilitating discussion in half of the seminars.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Andreas Håheim

Study Program Director:

Erik Paulsen

Method of work

Lectures, seminars, group work, presentations, self-study and written individual assignment will prepare students for the home examination in the course.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto