Course Title: Family and Community Studies

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Family and Community Studies

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences

Distance / Correspondence

Sem 1 2014


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2015


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 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Leanne Sheeran

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7445

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.7.7

Course Coordinator Availability: see office door

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Bachelor degree or equivalent, in a related health or community service field.

Course Description

In the Family and Community Studies course you will investigate the socio ecological model of health and how it gives context to support for families. The concept of contemporary families and their diversity of structure, function, strength and resilience will be examined. Parenting tasks and life span challenges will be critically appraised in terms of transition to parenting and key developmental stages. A particular focus will be vulnerability and the experience of vulnerable families. Ways in which health and community workers can work with families and communities in a partnership model at both a family and community level will also be addressed. Challenges such as family violence, cultural diversity, mental health issues and substance misuse will be critically appraised and considered.

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 1:  Critically examine the principles of primary health care to plan, implement and evaluate health promotion activities within child, family and community health 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 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. Conceptually map the socio-ecological model of health and consider how this applies to families and communities.


  1. Critically review and apply principles of primary health care in order to plan, implement and evaluate health promotion activities within child, family and community health practice.


  1. Explore and critique current models of the contemporary family and the raising of children in Australian society and propose and defend associated models of family assessment.


  1. Analyse and synthesise knowledge of parenting tasks and life span challenges as they relate to the transition to parenting and key developmental stages.


  1. Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of risk and protective factors that impact children, parents and families and the ability to integrate assessment findings concerning risk.


      6. Assess contemporary issues that impact families such as cultural diversity, grief and loss, role of fathers, indigenous health, psychosocial screening, perinatal and infant mental health, family violence, child abuse, substance misuse, disability and mental health issues.


Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities you will undertake during this course include a mixture of formal lectures, 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 inform your subsequent professional practice. You will be expected to participate in workshops and other experiential exercises.

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, Maternal and Child Health resource guides and other government publications will support your learning. Selected material willbe digitally available to you. Lecture material 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


This course has no hurdle requirements.


Assessment Task 1:

50% Case Study of transition to parenthood

Critically appraise one of the case studies provided. Explore the issues raised for your selected case study via a brief literature review. Identify family stage and structure; compile a genogram and Eco map showing how the issues you have identified are impacting on this family; discuss strategies to engage with the family and propose your response if the family did not engage. Outline how you would work in collaboration with the family to develop a management plan including options for further community support. (Maximum 2500 words)

CLO: 2,3,4,5

Assessment Task 2:

50% Community Resources Project

Respond to the family scenarios presented with this project by exploring community services that are local to the area where you live /work and discuss suitable services or resources. Compile a file of community resources to use in your MCH practice.  Include 12-20 key agencies and also utilise state wide services and electronic resources. Examples may include ABA, SANDS, PANDA, SIDS & Kids, Beyond Blue, Centre Against Sexual Assault, Family Violence Services, Disability, Drug & Alcohol, Mental Health and Indigenous services. (Maximum 2500 words.)

CLO: 1, 2,3,5,6.