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.


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)

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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