Child and Family Social Work

Subject SCWK90039 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

September, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 contact hours (8 x 3 hours seminar)
Total Time Commitment:

24 contact hours

16 hours of class preparation and reading

24 hours of assessment related tasks

= 64 hours total time commitment

= 8 hours total time per week


Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s courses. Students who think their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Prof Marie Connolly


Social Work
Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 5, 234 Queensberry St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 9400
F: +61 3 9347 4375

Subject Overview:

Child and family welfare is a long established major field of practice for professional social workers. This subject gives students a foundation for social work practice in the field of services to children at significant risk of harm and their families and carers, using a framework for understanding and responding to the child in its family, network and community. It covers key policy debates, program arrangements, practice trends and ethical issues in services to protect children and promote their well-being. The subject pays particular attention to the theoretical and practical aspects of understanding and responding to risk and serious harm to children. It examines both routine and innovative approaches to policy development and service provision in the areas of family support, child protection and out-of-home care services, taking account of emerging patterns of need and the socio-political context of program development. Students will learn about the particular functions and skills required of social workers practising in this field.


Knowledge of the issues presenting to child and family services and the key policies underpinning the child and family services in Victoria;

  • Familiarity with the key service types within the child/family welfare field (family support, out of home care and child protection )
  • Critical appraisal of key enduring difficulties, recent developments and new directions in this field;
  • Identification of common practice challenges, and practice standards;
  • A beginning working knowledge of key social work practice tasks in family services, child protection and alternate care services.
  1. A written essay of 5,000 words due at the end of semester
Prescribed Texts: A reading guide will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • critically analyse texts and practices;
  • understand recent developments in social work contexts of practice;
  • link theory to practice;
  • competently communicate in ways relevant to both academic and practice contexts;
  • undertake independent research.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Advanced Social Work
Master of Social Work

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