Course Outline

SWK777 Children, Youth and Families: Challenges, Critique and Change

Course Coordinator:Zalia Powell ( School:School of Law and Society

2022Semester 1

USC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course covers challenges faced by human services workers and social workers engaged in family work. This course will explore knowledge and skills necessary for working with children, youth and families from diverse backgrounds in a range of complex practice contexts.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Online Learning Materials 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Tutorial x 2 hours 2hrs Week 2 11 times
Seminar – 1 x 2 hour seminar 2hrs Week 8 Once Only

Course Topics

- Working with children, youth and families

- Theories for social work with children, youth and families

- Skills based and evidence informed knowledge

What level is this course?

700 Level (Specialised)

Demonstrating a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills for professional practice or further learning. Advanced application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Articulate various child and family theories, developmental theories and stages and models of intervention processes and strategies and explain changes in social work practice Creative and critical thinker
2 Apply reflective practice on personal beliefs, values and worldviews and analyse how this impacts your practice Creative and critical thinker
3 Communicate in written and oral modes applying APA referencing style Creative and critical thinker
4 Apply knowledge of social work ethics in practice with children, youth and families, including an understanding and integration of the AASW Code of Ethics. Ethical
5 Demonstrate an understanding of social work/Human Services practice skills in complex contexts. Ethical

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

You will have an advanced understanding of the integration of critical postmodern theory to social work practice, and to critically analyse the ideological underpinnings of dominant discourses and power and respond in creative ways to challenges posed by the socio-political contexts in which families and social workers reside.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Early assessment with assignment 1 being due week 3. Feedback by week 5.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Activity Participation Individual 10%
11 tutorials
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) In Class
All 2 Quiz/zes Individual 25%
1 hour
Refer to Format Online Test (Quiz)
All 3 Artefact - Creative, and Oral Individual 25%
10 minutes oral presentation
4 Powerpoint Slides
Week 8 Online Submission
All 4 Written Piece Individual 40%
2500 words
Week 13 Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Tutorial Attendance and Participation
AASW external accreditation requires
mandatory attendance for skills based
tutorials. Students must attend weekly
tutorials and actively participate in all
tutorial activities.
Product: Activity Participation
Tutorial attendance will be recorded to meet external AASW accreditation requirements. Student participation and engagement in tutorial activities assessed based upon attendance and participation across 11 tutorials.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Tutorial attendance
All - Assessment Task 2:Quizzes
To demonstrate an understanding of
various approaches, theories, models and
frameworks in children, youth and families social work.
Product: Quiz/zes
Students will complete a multiple choice quiz in weeks 3, 6, and 10. The quizzes are open book and cover content from online materials, tutorials, mini lectures and set readings.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Apply knowledge of social work ethics
Articulate theories
All - Assessment Task 3:Genogram and Ecomap Presentation
Demonstrate the ability to create an accurate genogram and ecomap for the chosen case study. Using a narrated Powerpoint, present your case study and identify your plan for social work intervention supported by evidence based practice.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Oral
Students are to prepare a 10 minute recorded oral PowerPoint presentation that explains the genogram and ecomap for a case study they have chosen. Students are required to consider the audience as fellow community / human services/ social worker colleagues, collaboratively discussing a client's case. Oral presentations are to be recorded in Powerpoint and submitted via Canvas. 

Students are required to complete the following in their recorded Powerpoint presentation;

• A genogram. All generations presented with correct genealogical symbols used.
• Ecomap for the family. All relationships between individuals presented with correct symbols used denoting age, location, levels of education, illness, substance use etc.
• Explain your chosen social work approach to working with this family and link this to AASW Code of Ethics and/or Practice Standards.

Please be advised that assessments within this unit have been specifically tailored to meet the
AASW Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (2012) 'acquisition of skills for social
work practice' ensuring graduate students are job ready. Assessments integrate both social work theory and practice to replicate 'real world' assessments and case management procedures and practices.

Glossary of terms:
Illustrate: Make something clear and explicit by giving examples or evidence
Define: Provide a precise explanation
Explain: Provide an account of why or how a particular situation occurs, with the aim of clarifying reasons, causes and effects.
Summarize: Provide a brief statement covering the main points.
Relate: Either explain how things happened or are connected in a cause and effect sense, or may imply 'compare' and 'contrast'
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Ability to accurately generate a genogram, applied accurately to the case illustrating all relevant relationships
4 5
Ability to accurately generate an ecomap and apply it accurately to define and explain the relationships presented within the case study
4 5
Ability to adequately summarise and apply the appropriate SW/HS approach consistent with AASW COE
3 4
Ability to present a clear, well structured document to an 'emerging professional' level.
Correct use of grammar, spelling and use of APA6 referencing, lack of plagiarism concerns, using academic peer reviewed literature
All - Assessment Task 4:Case Study - Biopsychosocial Risk Assessment
To apply social work skills to develop a biopsychosocial risk assessment based on a chosen case study. To demonstrate an understanding of a relevant social work theory as it relates to the case study.
Product: Written Piece
Students are required to continue on with their chosen case study from assessment task 3 and complete a biopsychosocial risk assessment using the template provided. 
Students will analyse the role of attachment theory, ecological systems theory or Erikson's psychosocial development theory in relation to the case study. Students will form an evidence based social work assessment and a plan for intervention that demonstrates child centred practice principles.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Ability to discuss and critically analyse attachment theory in relation to the case study
Ability to discuss and explain developmental theory and provide justification for why you ascribed this theory to the case
Ability to define and examine what is meant by the child centered approach and apply it in relation to the case study
Ability to identify and explore personal values and ability to reflect how this may affect engaging and working with the case study family. Recommend future actions to readdress concerns
Ability to present a clear, well structured document to an 'emerging professional' level.
Correct use of grammar, spelling and use of APA6 referencing, lack of plagiarism concerns, Using academic peer reviewed literature

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


USC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

Visit the USC website:

Student Charter

USC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

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