This unit of study is constructed around an inquiry by students into youth policy by firstly understanding the social and economic context in Australia and globally that frames our economy and society. This unit considers postmodern social theory to questions of social justice and social action. Students will explore the connection between public policy and youth work and in particular the relationship between government youth policy and the funded youth programs of government. Students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to work constructively within the policy and practice context of organisations serving young people. They will study state and federal youth policy, how policy is made, and how policy intersects and underpins the activities of youth workers. The unit also explores the context, development and implementation of social policy and its relationship to civics education in Australia.

Unit details

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Unit code:



Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critique the broad parameters of the study of social policy;  
  2. Articulate how youth policy impacts on young people, youth workers, teachers and service providers in local and national communities;  
  3. Analyse the broader impact of policy in constructing social outcomes particularly in developing equitable outcomes;  
  4. Determine the role of policy in constructing a fair society and evaluate the importance of understanding policy mechanisms in the constructs of civics education globally in our society;  
  5. Articulate their development of skills and knowledge about the theory/s that underpin and involves youth policy; and  
  6. Adapt knowledge of the different processes and mechanisms that may be undertaken to develop and formulate youth policy.  


In addition to the graded assessments, all students must complete a hurdle task which consists of a group presentation on a current 'youth issue'.
Assessment type Description Grade
Essay What is youth policy and how does it influence the work of youth workers? 30%
Report A major analysis of a youth policy 70%
Total effective word limit 3000 words

Required reading

Essential Skills for Youth Work Practice 2nd
Sapin, K (2013),
London: Sage Publications

Links to readings as outlined on VU Collaborate.

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