Course Title: Youth Work Field Education 2

Part A: Course Overview

Course ID: 034017

Course Title: Youth Work Field Education 2

Credit Points: 24

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng


Course Coordinator: Rob Nabben

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9711

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 22.4.6C

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This is a third year course withing the Bachelor of Social Science (Youth Work)

Course Description

You will undertake a 36 day placement in the Youth Sector. Field education tutorials ensure that you gain the maximum learning from your placement. As this is the final placement in the Youth Work program, you may consider using it as a stepping stone into employment, or as an opportunity to clarify career directions. It is important that students keep these goals in mind when choosing and undertaking placement.

University Tutors will work cooperatively with you to ensure that you have a successful final year learning experience. He or she will assess your learning objectives, and discuss a range of agencies that may be appropriate. S/he will work with you to ensure that you understand all aspects of the placement process so that you can approach an agency and negotiate a successful placement. S/he will undertake an on-site, 3-way meeting to sign the contract (distance permitting), make a mid-placement follow-up phone call to the agency, and work with you to understand your strengths and areas to improve. If you, your agency supervisor, or the university tutor request, there will be a ‘termination’ meeting at the completion of placement.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Appropriate youth-work practice knowledge and skills grounded in an ability to reflect on their own actions in a variety of contemporary sites and modes. This requires an ability to:
• articulate the main features of official and expert discourses and social science narratives that characterize childhood and reflect critically on the relationship between those accounts and specific interventions into young peoples lives;
• identify key influences that inform practices and policies in youth related practice, and critically reflect on those influences and practice.
• Identify alternative accounts of young people’s own experiences at a personal level and in term of various cultural expressions.

An ability to articulate and practice good youth-work in the light of ideas about justice, equity, respect and democratic citizenship. This requires:
• a capacity to exercise critical argument, reflection and responsibility regarding ethical conduct and values related to ideas such as respect, acceptance,
• an attentiveness to the wide range of ethical issues regarding young people and research,
• a sensitivity to tensions between universal human rights discourses and arguments supporting parochial or culturally specific rights
• confidence, an optimistic attitude towards young people and a commitment to improving young people’s well-being and their moral and legal status.
• a will and capacity to advocate for/with young people.

There are four major aspects to tutorials which are designed to support this process:

The first are mainly administrative outcomes which focus on negotiating and designing your placement, specifically:
1/ familiarization with the requirements and processes for Field Education year 3,
2/ deciding your 3rd year learning goals and the type of agency where these can be achieved,
3/ supporting the effective negotiation of a field experience contract,
4/ monitoring the progress of placement, and making changes where appropriate,
5/ providing support in order to successfully undertake the assessment requirements.

The second major aspect of field education tutorials is to broaden your knowledge of the youth work sector further than in year 2. In the tutorial you will have the opportunity to learn from 14 other students, many of whom will be working in agencies you are unfamiliar with.

The third aspect of field education tutorials is to deepen your skills in reflective practice and peer supervision. You will be working in different settings and experiencing different challenges than in year 2. Tutorials will challenge you to further develop your skills in using a peer supervision context to de-brief, gain support, and make plans for improving your ‘interventions’. At the completion of third year you should be prepared to enter employment with a strong foundation in peer supervision.

Fourthly, field tutorials prepare you for successful transition to the workforce. This is achieved through an all-day ‘transition to the workforce’ seminar in semester 2. You will also update your 2nd Year CV’s to reflect your current experience and knowledge, in preparation for job applications at the end of the year.

This course will support you in developing in-depth knowledge of a diversity of youth-related agencies – their location / purpose, the main networks of referral and coordination, the characteristics and ‘social location’ of clients, the types of duties undertaken by staff (see field manual, assessment section 1).
• You will learn to critically review youth agency program and policy issues including the role of peak organisations, structural divisions within organisations, income and expenditure, governance processes, consumer right/accountability, annual planning processes, staff appraisal, grievance processes, team building, government funding requirements, and models of practice.
• The course involves working in a peer supervision context at a more experienced level than in year 2. This includes higher level skills such as appropriate challenging, and reflexively analyzing practice in the light of rights-based frameworks.
• Year 3 Field Education will also prepare you to make a successful transition to employment

Overview of Learning Activities

Semester 1 Content:

Week 1 Fieldwork manuals distributed. Management and Policy requirements of year 3 placement explained. The homework task is to read manuals in preparation for week 2.
Week 2 Developing learning objectives for 3rd year placement.
Week 3 Submission and review of updated CVs, letters of interest. Learning objectives and list of possible agencies for follow up

Week 4 In the tutorial, the assessment requirements for field education are reviewed in more detail.
1. Written report: Introduction; Agency overview; Contracted responsibilities; Professional practice; Management; Policy
2. Fieldwork tutorial requirements.
(See Field Education Manual).
Week 5 The tutor will discuss assessment item 1: agency overview, coordination, protocols and the roles of peak organisations.
Week 6 The tutor will discuss assessment item 2: Reflecting on professional practice. Having finished 2nd year placement, this should now be more familiar to you.
Week 7 The tutor will discuss assessment item 3: Management part a) Organisational chart; Major budget items; Governance structure.

Week 8 Models of peer supervision will be reviewed in the light of the experiences of students in 2nd year field education tutorials. The tutor will lead a 30 to 40 minute peer supervision session discussing a professional practice issue / interest / learning objective. This will model the process and structure that students might use when they facilitate a session.
Students will ‘book in’ dates to conduct peer supervision discussion

Week 9 The tutor will discuss assessment item 3: Management - Accountability to community of interest. Consumer participation is a widely used idea in human services. Week 10 Peer supervision sessions commence: Session number 1.
The process of choosing topics and conducting the discussions is similar to the previous year. The workplace ‘critical incident’ or professional practice question is chosen by you. It should provide sufficient material for the class group to ‘unpack’ and explore. Examples from previous years include ‘employers of choice’, ‘stress and burnout’, ‘working with high risk young people’, ‘youth workers as soft cops’, ‘anti discriminatory practice’, and ‘multi disciplinary practice’.
You should start with a brief description of your agency (see essay assessment item 1). The level of discussion should be considerably deeper than in year 2 field tutorials. You should demonstrate a familiarity with some of the main debates and references in your area of interest, and should show a considerable level of understanding of the youth sector and your agency. You should demonstrate skills in peer supervision, and ability to stimulate discussion, and to balance both input and listening.
The tutor will discuss assessment item 3: Management - Staff appraisal; Team building. Most organisations have a system for measuring how well staff are performing, and of rewarding or sanctioning workers. We will discuss the aims, some of the processes, and the implications for professional practice. A related issue is team building. Teams of workers are often required to cooperate in close relationships – what are some of the ways that organisations try to achieve this in practice?
Week 11 Peer supervision: Session number 2.
The tutor will discuss funding agreements and guidelines. 
Week 12 Peer supervision: Session number 3.
Week 13 Peer supervision: Session number 4.
The tute will be introduced to a couple of major current government policies such as ‘community strengthening’ and ‘partnerships’ or ‘youth participation’.

Semester 2
Week 1 Peer supervision: Session number 5.
The tutor will discuss assessment item 4 Policy: aspects of policy that have a regulating/policing effect on youth populations, youth workers, or specific groups of young people and attempt (popular-expert discourses about professionalism, youth, delinquent, etc.).
Week 2 Peer supervision: Session number 6.
The tutor will discuss assessment item 4 Policy: how, in placement, you might identify and reflect on informal practices of regulation (for example sanctions and rewards, normalising judgements, popular attitudes, expert knowledge about human development, categories of youth such as ‘adolescence’, ‘at risk’).
Week 3 Peer supervision: Session number 7.
The tutor will discuss assessment item 4. Policy: ethical issues related to policy, management, regulation of young people that operate either inside or outside the agency. How might you identify and reflect on these in placement? For example you could get workers views of contemporary issues such as children in refugee detention centres, mandatory sentencing, work-for-the-dole, mutual obligation, etc.
Week 4 Peer supervision: Session number 8.
Consultation about activities for the workshop ‘Transition to the workforce’ to be held in Week 9.
Week 5 Peer supervision: Sessions number 9 & 10.
Week 6 Peer supervision: Sessions number 10 & 11.
Week 7 Peer supervision: Sessions number 12 & 13.
Week 8 Peer supervision: Sessions number 14 & 15.
Week 9 All day workshop 9.30 – 3.30 “Transition to the workforce” (see attached program. 
Week 10 No class in lieu of all day workshop. Tutors will be available for help with individual assessment or any placement follow-up issues.
Week 11 No class in lieu of all day workshop. Tutors are available for help with individual assessment or any placement follow-up issues. 
Week 12 No class in lieu of all day workshop. Tutors are available for help with individual assessment or any placement follow-up issues.
Week 13 No class in lieu of all day workshop. Tutors are available for help with individual assessment or any placement follow-up issues.

Overview of Learning Resources

• Bessant, J. & Emslie, M. (1997) From Bleeding Heart To Bottom Line’: Transforming Victoria’s Local Government Youth Services, Public Sector Research Centre, University of New South Wales
• Billis, D. & Harris, M. (1996) Voluntary agencies: challenges of organisation and management, MacMillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire
• Cleak, H. and Wilson, J. (2004) Making the Most of Field Placement Nelson, Victoria
• Considine, M. (1988) ‘The Costs of Increased Control.’ Australian Social Work, Sept. Vol. 4, No. 3, pp 17 - 25.
• Considine, M (1994) Public Policy: A Critical Approach, Macmillan Education Australia, South Melbourne
• Cooper, T. and White, R. (1994) ‘Models of Youth Work Intervention.’ Youth Studies Australia, Spring, pp 30 - 35.
• Dickens, P (1994) Quality and Excellence in Human Services, John Wiley and sons, New York
• Fook, J. Hawkins, L. and Ryan, M. (2000) Professional Expertise: practice, theory and education for working in uncertainity, Whiting & Birch, London
• Hill, M. (1997) The Policy Process in the Modern State, Third edition, Prentice Hall, Hertfordshire.
• Hurley, L. and Trecy, D. cited in Cardwell (1996) Youth Work Into the New Millenium, Devon County Council, Plymouth
• Kempin, G. (1994) Promoting Learning in Your Organisation - Report of the learning Environments Action Research Project, Social and Community Services Industry Training Board, Melbourne
• Kettner, P. (2002) Achieving Excellence in the Management of Human Service Organizations, Allyn and Bacon, Boston
• Lewis, J. (2001) Management of Human Service Programs, Thomson Learning, Belmont, CA
• Lindblom, C. (1959) ‘The Science of Muddling Through.’ Public Administration Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, 79-88.
• Lipsky, M. (1980) Street-Level Bureaucracy, Russell Sage, New York
• Mayers, R. Souflee, F. & Shoech, D. (1994) Dilemmas in Human Services Management : illustrative case studies, Springer Pub. New York
• McArdle, J. (1993) Resource Manual for Facilitators in Community Development, Employ publishing Group, Windsor, Victoria
• North, P. and Bruegel, I. cited in Pierson, J. and Smith, J. (2001) Rebuilding Community, Palgrave, Hampshire
• Pentland, J. (1992) ‘A Model from Practice’, Community Quarterly, No. 22, p31 - 36
• Osborne and Gaebler (1994) Reinventing Government – how the entrepreneurial spirit is transforming the public sector, Plume, New York
• Sabatier, P. A. (1986), ’Top down and Bottom-Up Approaches to Implementation Research: a Critical Analysis and Suggested Synthesis’ Journal of Public Policy, Vol. 6, No. 1: pp. 21-48.
• Schram, B. & Mandell B. (1997) An Introduction to Human Services : policy and practice, Allyn and Bacon, Boston
• Thorpe, R. and Petruchenia, J. (1985) Community Work or Social Change - An Australian Perspective, Routledge and Kegan Paul, Melbourne
• Ward, J. (1992) ‘A Reader Responds.’ Community Quarterly, No. 24. p4
• Raysmith, H. (2001) Building Better Communities: The way to go, VLGA working Paper, Victorian Local Governance Association, Melbourne

Overview of Assessment

Field studies has 6 main assessment components
1. Completion of the placement contract
2. Satisfactory report from the agency facilitator
3. Written report from the student addressing all criteria
4. Student portfolio providing evidence of achieved goals
5. Summary log of student journal
6. Satisfactory completion of university fieldwork tutorial requirements.

Each component is compulsory and results will not be entered until all are submitted. Assessment for Field Education is Pass / Fail, ie. ungraded. This is because it is impossible to give weightings to either high level performance on placement, or high level written work for the university assessment. Students are also encouraged to take risks, extend themselves and feel confident to explore difficulties as well as successes.