Child Protection and Child Welfare: Theory and Practice

Course code SPSW3402Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Education and ArtsSchool of Humanities and Social Science

Child abuse, child protection and child welfare issues in families remain one of society's most challenging and complex issues. For the human service graduate, practitioners can operate in range of practice and agency contexts where child abuse is a significant issue requiring difficult decisions focused on protective interventions. Understanding child abuse, child protection and child welfare and being able to effectively respond can be vital in dealing with a range of human service practitioner concerns.

As such, this course places child protection and child welfare issues in a social and political context and highlights the impact of class, gender and race to the process of policy development and implementation. The course aims to make critical perspectives available to students of child welfare policy and practice, to assist them to understand the context in which policy and practice occur.

Not available in 2015

Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesUpon successful completion of this course, students will be expected to demonstrate:

1. the ability to critically analyse the various welfare interventions in the lives of children and families
2. identify and analyse the issues involved in defining child abuse and neglect
3. describe the social, political and cultural context of child abuse
4. explore the effects of child abuse
5. analyse the basic assumptions, values, decision making processes and individual experiences of child welfare policy
ContentHistorically, the child welfare system has functioned on the basis of the state as the authority on parental roles and responsibilities for children's upbringing, socialisation and well being. The system has been predicated on the view that children needed to be rescued from those parents who did not have the innate qualities, right values, correct attitudes and appropriate behaviours considered to be necessary for parents to act in a "socially acceptable" way.

Child welfare interventions usually have been and continue to be, justified as being "in the best interests of the child". This expression has been constantly used as justification for intervention on behalf of the children, with the authority of the state. This rationale for state intervention raises the question about how interests and needs are perceived, and about the potential conflict between the needs and rights of children, the needs and rights of parents and the needs and rights of the state.

This course will also examine the dynamics and impact of the major forms of child abuse on children and young people, including systems abuse and the effects of such abuse. For the most part such children and young people are from backgrounds of adversity and these backgrounds are examined in some detail.
Replacing Course(s)Replaces HUMA3402 Child & Family Welfare.
TransitionStudent who have completed HUMA3402 or the previous SPSW3402 Child and Family Welfare are not eligible to enrol in this course.
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeSPSW1001 or equivalent
Modes of DeliveryFlexible Delivery / Student Centred Learning
Internal Mode
Teaching MethodsProblem Based Learning
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsMajor Essay (2500 words) 50% due end of semester
Other: (please specify)2 hours Online problem based tasks linked to assessment 20% of total marks
Presentations - TutorialTutorial Presentation 30%
Students will be able to choose between areas of policy development, implementation and practice.
Contact HoursProblem Based Learning: for 2 hour(s) per Fortnight for Full Term
Seminar: for 4 hour(s) per Fortnight for Full Term