The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


Strong families and capable communities are the foundation of healthy, just, and sustainable societies. As such, family well-being and functioning are critical to all disciplines and professions who seek to influence family and community outcomes.

This course will introduce students to fundamental concepts and frameworks underpinning professional practice in services that address complex issues facing families and communities. Family form, family functioning and community systems are explored through a life-course perspective in relation to issues such as trauma, poverty, disability, and mental illness. Students will develop multidisciplinary approaches to integrated practice and community partnerships that provide a collective long-term impact on family functioning and well-being.

HLSC1243 is the first course in a 3-year sequence (HLSC1243, HLSC2243, HLSC3243) that seeks to prepare students for a rapidly changing world of practice and for multi-faceted new jobs with a focus on families and communities.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Recognise and identify the diversity of family forms and circumstances.

2. Identify and explain the major theories and concepts utilised for understanding families.

3. Recognise the integrated and complex nature of issues facing families over the lifecourse.

4. Explain practice approaches to complex family issues in a variety of community contexts.


  • Diversity of family forms, circumstances and functioning;
  • Theories and concepts about families (bio-ecological, lifecourse perspective, attachment);
  • Complex interacting issues such as poverty, trauma, diversities, mental health, disability, ageing, family violence, family transitions;
  • Community contexts for family functioning - geographical, cultural, lifecourse, sexuality, ability, and health;
  • Practice approaches: building on strengths and assets; integrated practices that link individual, family and community services for positive collective impact

Assessment items

Interview: Interview

In Term Test: Test

Project: Project

Contact hours


Online Activity

Online 10 hour(s) per Week for Full Term