Course Title: Child and Family Health Assessment

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Child and Family Health Assessment

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: Dr Leanne Sheeran

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7445

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.07.007

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

To be eligible to enrol in this course you must have successfully completed a

  • Bachelor of Nursing degree or equivalent, and a
  • Graduate Diploma in Midwifery or Bachelor of Midwifery degree or equivalent,
  • Hold current registration with AHPRA as both a Nurse and a Midwife,
  • Have completed a minimum of one year post registration clinical experience in each of nursing and midwifery, and

Demonstrate recent clinical experience, defined as having worked in nursing or midwifery for a minimum of one year in the past five years.

Work Integrated Learning:

Students enrolled in this course will be required to undertake placement as part of the assessment of the course.  A number of requirements must be met by students to ensure eligibility for placement.  Further details on each of these are available in Part B of the Course Guide and on MyRMIT.

  • National Police check
  • Working with Children Check
  • Immunisation Declaration Form


There is no flexibility with these requirements.  It is your responsibility to ensure THESE REQUIREMENTS ARE COMPLETED.  Any student who has not provided this information will not be able to attend placement and will receive a fail grade for the placement course.

Course Description

Child and Family Health Assessment is designed to provide you with the foundational theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to support your entry into supervised Maternal and Child Health (MCH)  clinical experience in the community setting. It builds on and enhances knowledge and practical skills gained in previous professional nursing and midwifery practice. It is a prerequisite for the course NURS1019 Child and Family Nursing in the Community and NURS2183 Maternal and Child Health Clinical Placement..

Child and Family Health Assessment is focussed on three central areas of practice:

  • Engaging with families and working together to promote child health and family wellbeing,
  • The assessment and intervention for child health and developmental issues, and
  • The assessment of maternal and family wellbeing including support and referral for early parenting concerns.

 Child and Family Health Assessment will introduce you to physical and developmental assessment skills and the associated range of validated screening tools (including those used for primary and secondary developmental screening). There are three components to this course:

(a)     Course work and workshops,

(b)     Clinical visits to community agencies, and

(c)      Introduction to clinical placement in MCH centres.

 Workshops will enable you to practise your assessment skills and clinical visits will provide opportunities to practice observational skills and explore child and family health issues in community settings. Placement in the Maternal and Child Health service will introduce you to professional MCH practice and provide further opportunity for assessment and skill development.

You are expected to undertake a minimum of 120 hours of clinical visits and MCH placements in addition to to class-based coursework and workshops.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability you should contact the Program Coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit for further advice. Students need to be able to meet the inherent requirements of the program.

At any time prior to or during your placement if there are concerns raised related to your fitness to practice the clinical coordinator can request that you gain full medical clearance to continue your placement.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the Program Learning Outcomes for GD159 Graduate Diploma in Child and Family Health Nursing in the following way:

  • PLO 2:  Apply reflective thinking and critical analysis to maternal and child health (MCH) nursing and demonstrate a sound understanding of the legislation, ethical codes and professional guidelines that direct professional practice.
  • PLO 3:  Critically evaluate contemporary research findings and integrate these to provide comprehensive, safe and effective evidence based health care for children, families and the community.
  • PLO 4:  Demonstrate advanced clinical maternal and child health nursing skills including infant and child physical and developmental assessment, maternal and family health assessment and competent use of screening tools.
  • PLO 6:  Communicate effectively with children, families and groups to engage and support clients, working in partnership with families and interdisciplinary health teams to promote, assess and support maternal, child and family health and wellbeing.



At the conclusion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Critically analyse issues impacting on maternal, child and family health and apply observation and communication skills to explore and assess these.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to conduct physical assessment on infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers, using techniques that appropriately reflect a child’s developmental stage, cognitive level, cultural background, and purpose of the assessment.
  3. Perform advanced assessments of infant/child development and maternal and family wellbeing utilising validated screening tools and critically interpreting the findings.
  4. Work in partnership with families to clarify needs and promote child health and family wellbeing.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities you will undertake during this course include a mixture of formal lectures or on line learning packages, class based or online discussion and self-directed learning exercises including directed reading of academic literature to provide a solid theoretical basis to help you to achieve professional practice. You will also be expected to participate in workshops and other experiential exercises.

This course involves a range of Work Integrated Learning experiences (clinical and community visits and clinical placements) in a variety of settings, including Early Parenting Centres, Early Intervention Centres and designated Maternal and Child Health Services.

36 teacher directed hours, 84 independent learning hours

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. Directed course readings from current journals including WHO publications, and position statements, MCH resource guides and other government publications will support your learning. Selected material may be digitally available to you. Lecture content will be delivered via face to face sessions and will be supplemented by class discussions, group work, DVDs, workshops and Blackboard resources. Practice learning activities may be provided in a variety of ways, including simulated learning activities. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through the online system.

Overview of Assessment

All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

A hurdle requirement is necessary in order to demonstrate to the accrediting body that students are competent and are being sufficiently assessed against practice-focussed professional standards throughout the course of their program.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Simulated Physical Assessment (infant, toddler or pre-schooler)

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLO 2

Assessment Task 2: MCH Skills Case Study (Parent, toddler and infant)

Weighting 40%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4

Assessment Task 3: Final Exam

Weighting 40%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4

Assessment Task 4: Satisfactory completion of 120 Hours of clinical visits and initial MCH placement which are not graded (HURDLE)

  • Students will complete a mid-placement review of their clinical progress with their MCH preceptor which will be submitted to the university. Students not meeting the standards for practice at this stage will be commenced on a learning contract to support and focus their learning.
  • The final clinical assessment for this course will be at the end of the placement to review of the student’s clinical progress. Both the mid-placement and end of placement clinical progress review will assess students across all domains of practice and clinical competencies as presented in the Victorian Standardised Clinical Assessment Tool (VicCAT) and as determined by the RMIT University MCH Clinical Coordinator and the Clinical MCH Nurse Preceptor.
  • The VicCAT is a standardised state wide clinical assessment tool based on the Victorian Association of Maternal and Child Health Nurses (VAMCHN) MCH competencies which are also reflected in the Course Learning Objectives.

Weighting 0%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4