This unit introduces students to Social Work concepts and 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.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate skills to identify and reflect on your personal and professional dimensions of becoming a social worker;  
  2. Examine social work practice as a diverse, purposeful activity, informed by core values, ethics, theory and knowledge; and  
  3. Explore social work practice within the current and historical context.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Video - reflect on the personal and professional dimensions of social work in a 4 minute video (400words equivalent) 20%
Test Ethics and Practice Standards Quiz on the AASW Code of Ethics (2020) and Practice Standards (2013). (100 words equivalent). 10%
Project Project 40%
Presentation Team Presentation Groups of 4 or 5 students present an allocated case study (500 words equivalent) 30%
Project - Professional Glossary and Knowledge Sources - select five key social work terms, research and reference each term and explain the term in relation to social work (1000 words equivalent).

Required reading

The road to social work and service practice, 6th ed.
Chenoweth, L. & McAuliffe, D., (2017)
Cengage Learning, South Melbourne

Additional resources available on VU Collaborate.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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