The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


This course provides an overview of the human services sector and the role of the human service worker within it. It examines macro and micro level influences on the historical developments of the Australian Welfare State and service delivery models. It explores the knowledge, skills and values required of the human services worker in dealing with a range of complex social issues. It highlights the structural disadvantage of many service users and explores progressive approaches to human service practice. It covers the theories and knowledge that underpin different types of practice undertaken by human service workers and establishes the importance of ethical and professional standards in practice.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020


  • Semester 1 - 2020

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): SPSW1001. Students who have successfully completed SPSW1001 are not eligible to enrol in HUSE1001.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify key aspects of the human services sector including: its history and social context; forms of practice; the influence of beliefs, values, attitudes, ethics and practice standards.

2. Describe the social conditions experienced by one or more groups of people in Australia and human services responses to these groups.

3. Apply, at an introductory level, distinct practice approaches that might be used in human services.individuals, groups and communities may be affected by class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, location or age

4. Apply introductory level reflective strategies to their experiences in order to extend learning about human services and their personal response to the content.


The course will include the following topics:

  • Historical Foundations of Australia’s Social Welfare System and Human Services Industry
  • Philosophical Perspectives
  • Ethics and Values
  • Roles and Domains of Practice
  • Practice Standards
  • Knowledge Base of Practice
  • Practice Frameworks and Approaches
  • Stages of intervention including engagement, assessment, intervention, termination and review
  • Social Control and Human Services
  • Specific Issues such as gender and racial inequality
  • Difference, Diversity and Cultural Competence
  • Tensions and Trends in the Human Services
  • Critical and Reflective practice


If you have successfully completed SPSW1001 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assessment items

Quiz: Online Multiple Choice - 30%

Journal: Research and Presentation - 30%

Written Assignment: Mock Case Plan - 40%

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term