This unit introduces students to Social Work practice, including its development and location within the social and community services sector. Workshops and recommended literature introduce students to key themes and debates in the development of social work in Australia and elsewhere. Students are expected to expand their understanding of social work as an activity shaped and constrained by social policy, legislation and organisations, as well as by a dynamic body of knowledge and skills, and a strong and explicit value and ethical base. The unit includes an introduction to radical, critical and anti-oppressive social work theory and practice.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Develop skills to reflect and analyse the personal and professional dimensions of becoming a social worker;  
  2. Discuss social work practice as a diverse, purposeful activity, informed by core values, ethics, theory and knowledge;  
  3. Work collaboratively to explore contemporary social work practice within context and key discourses;  
  4. Demonstrate the development of social work in Australia and its major international influences.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Video Interview 15%
Test Ethics Quiz 15%
Project Glossary 30%
Presentation Group Presentation - Readings review 40%

Required reading

The road to social work and service practice, 5th ed.
Chenoweth, L. & McAuliffe, D., (2017)
Cengage Learning, South Melbourne

Additional resources available on VU Collaborate.

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