Human service workers work in groups across all fields of practice from staff teams to social action and therapeutic groups. Students will be introduced to and experience group work theories, processes and skills. It focuses on developing a critical understanding of the use of power, knowledge and privilege in groups and the implications of this for practice.

Unit details

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96 credit points of first year core ABSW units.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Review and decode theoretical and practical issues relating to the process of practice with/in groups;  
  2. Reflect and report on their experiences as group members and group leaders in a small group settings;  
  3. Discriminate between the different contexts of groupwork practice and the implications for practice;  
  4. Critique the issues of power and oppression in the group work contexts; and  
  5. Demonstrate initiative and judgement in applying foundational group facilitation skills.  


Attendance at lectures and tutorials in this unit of study is compulsory. This means that students are required to attend at least 80% of classes. If they miss more than two weeks of classes they must apply for and be granted Special Consideration in order to pass the unit of study. This attendance requirement contributes to the Bachelor of Social Work meeting the attendance requirements specified in the Australian Association of Social Workers accreditation guidelines.
Assessment type Description Grade
Test Quizzes (5) (totalling 800 word equivalent) 25%
Presentation Brochure (complementary to Project, one submission per group of five students), 2 A4 sheets (1,200 word equivalent) 25%
Project Group presentation and submission of presentation summary (15 min - 2,000 word equivalent per individual) 50%

Required reading

The following text is prescribed for the unit and will be referred to in other units and useful for professional practice.

Groupwork practice in social work 3rd ed.
Lindsay,T. & Orton, S. (2014)
Learning Matters Ltd, Sage Publications

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