This unit aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to work constructively within the policy and practice context of organisations serving young people. It looks specifically at the role of local government as an important player in shaping local communities and in supporting and connecting federal, state and community run services and activities within the community. As the third level of government, local government is often poorly understood and its impact on communities and their young people greatly underestimated. This unit allows students to gain insights into the council's role as a key planner for local, natural and built environments and the community, and a provider of many local essential services, many of which play important roles in the lives of young people who live, go to school or recreate in that municipality. This unit seeks to provide an understanding of these impacts, their particular significance for young people, and how policy might shape them. The unit assessments also offer opportunities for students to demonstrate growing capabilities in becoming confident creative lifelong learners who can use their inter-cultural understanding of themselves and others to critically evaluate policies that enable or disable young people's civic and human rights. As such, students learn to become politically engaged and ethical citizens who are inter-culturally aware and respectful to the diversity of their local communities and understand the intricacies of balancing between individual and public good.

Unit details

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This unit is only for students undertaking courses ABYW, EBYS, ABYR, EBED, ABED, HBED, ABSW, ABSJ, SBPE and SBPH.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Evaluate local government in Victoria: its functions, structure and operation including the intricate balance between the needs of the individual and public good;  
  2. Critically review Local government's relationship with community and other levels of government;  
  3. Articulate an understanding of local governments' impacts, interactions and roles with young people; and  
  4. Conceptualise the role of local government youth services; and the processes and systems used for youth policy and planning at local government level.  


In addition to the graded assessments, students must complete a hurdle task which comprises attendance at a local council meeting and then a report back to peers in class.
Assessment type Description Grade
Report A critical evaluation of a Local Government's approach to service delivery and the participation of young people in governance. 30%
Presentation Present on a local government area in regard to the policy perspective of service and strategy. 20%
Essay Select a Government Youth policy and analyse its effectiveness to empower young people. 50%
Total effective word limit for the three tasks is 3000 words.

Required reading

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

As advised by your Lecturer.

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