Family violence affects the lives of many people in the community, and often comes to the attention of social workers in a wide range of health, education and human service settings. Social workers may have responsibility for providing frontline services to survivors and perpetrators of family violence, and for delivering programs designed to prevent future violence. Responding to situations involving family violence is seen as multi-disciplinary, and there is a need for coordination of efforts and collaboration with other people in relation to place-based initiatives. Social workers consider the structural, economic, cultural and political aspects of family violence and engage in assessment, casework, group work, counselling, research, advocacy and community development in order to bring about change This unit of study engages students in a critical examination of the myths and stereotypes that help to reinforce the hidden nature of family violence. It focuses on the nature, incidence, and extent of family violence, the gendered nature of family violence, and the impacts of family violence. Students are supported to develop their ability to identify and assess for risk for the whole family and demonstrate professional report writing skills.

Unit details

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Credit points:
Unit code:


288 credit points (First, Second and Third years) of core ABSW Bachelor of Social Work.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Articulate and apply a clear understanding of the dynamics and impacts of family violence on individuals and families in their communities;  
  2. Identify and critique personal beliefs, values and cultural traditions within contemporary political and societal understandings of family violence; and  
  3. Critically analyse and discuss the roles of social workers in responding to and preventing family violence.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Review Reading review (1500 words) 30%
Report Assessment of Risk Report (2000 words) 45%
Poster Poster and written reflection (1,000 words) 25%
To gain a pass in this unit, students must meet the attendance requirements described below, attain a minimum overall grade of 50% and attempt and submit all assessment tasks. Each assessment task covers discrete areas of knowledge and skill required for the successful completion of social work course. Attendance requirements AASW accreditation standards require students to complete a minimum of 140 hours (20 days) face-to-face classroom-based learning, the focus of which is professional practice skills. To meet this standard, attendance in this unit is compulsory. Students attending less than 90% of classes in this unit, will be awarded a fail grade and required to repeat the unit. A minimum attendance requirement of 80% is acceptable in situations where a student has been granted special consideration for class absences.

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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