Youth Work Practice

Unit code: AEB1800 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Footscray Park
Online Real Time


This unit aims to provide a structural foundation for understanding the development and the dynamics of youth work. It will explore the evolution of youth work within a sociological and cultural framework that discusses the links between health, agency and empowerment, as well as a diverse range of youth work models that support and inform reflexive practitioners. Topics to be covered include the following: concepts of youth: historic and global development of the role of adolescence and the development of specific youth work practices; social, cultural and biological constructs of adolescence; social determinants of health in relation to resilience, risk and protective factors; constructs of marginalisation and disadvantage; identity, agency and empowerment; case studies of significant people who are agents of social change; models of youth work practice – treatment, reform, advocacy; settings and context of youth work.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the role of youth work within the broader context and politics of social change, considering the evolution of youth work in a wide range of social and cultural contexts;
  2. Analyse specific scenarios or situations; and apply appropriate youth work models and approaches;
  3. Analyse the risk and protective factors within a range of settings and environments;
  4. Outline strategies to enhance the agency and empowerment of young people; and
  5. Communicate critical thinking orally and in writing to problem solve a range of issues related to youth work practice.
  6. Participate in an academic community through reflective and critical engagement in academic texts and understanding of principles of academic integrity.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Other
Grade: 25%
Reflection on evolution of Youth Work (700 words)
Assessment type: Essay
Grade: 40%
Youth Work values (1500 words)
Assessment type: Other
Grade: 35%
Community Map (Infographic)
Assessment type: Other
Grade: 0%
Evidence of completion of the Academic Integrity Modules

Required reading

Students will be provided with a reading list via VU Collaborate.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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