Course Title: Casework, Counselling and Advocacy

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Casework, Counselling and Advocacy

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

HWSS2111 Casework, Counselling and Advocacy, HWSS2049 Critical Social Work and HWSS2209 Ethical Legal and Organisational Contexts of Practice are prerequisite course for HWSS2206 Field Education 1. These courses should be undertaken in your first year of study.

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities. 

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption. 

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT: 

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance:

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 2 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Dr Kathleen Fitt

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Level 10

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed Knowledge 

The course assumes knowledge in sociology, psychology or other fields of human study. 

Course Description

Casework, Counselling and Advocacy will prepare you for direct practice with people in a range of circumstances and organisational settings. You will consider how the personal and political contexts of people’s situations oppress or privilege people and critique their broader family, social, cultural, legal and psychological systems with a focus on gender, culture, class, age and other power dimensions. 

You will critique crisis and case management models and practice and receive feedback using strengths-based approaches to engage, plan and work to achieve goals with people. The course engages you in reflective practice, developing awareness of your own practice style, strengths and challenges.

The course will explore processes of advocacy and casework in building people’s inner resources and their social capital. You will discuss the contradictions and tensions that arise in working with people to achieve just outcomes.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes: 

  • Critically analyse theories informing social work practice and the contemporary policy context to develop an evidence base for ethical professional practice 
  • Apply advanced problem solving skills and techniques of intervention that bring together complex information transferable across different institutional and cultural contexts of practice, incorporating innovative interventions to effectively meet the needs of individuals, families, groups and communities 
  • Theorise and develop interventions that address the social structural and political levels through which poverty and inequality are generated and critically assess policies and programs developed to address disadvantage 
  • Apply sophisticated oral and written communication skills to present complex information to individuals, organisations and professional and non-professional communities in accessible and culturally appropriate ways 
  • Apply critical analytical problem solving skills to develop innovative and creative policy and practice responses to contemporary social problems, and promote the fundamental social, economic and cultural rights of individuals, families, groups and communities 
  • Practice as an autonomous, ethical and critical social work practitioner with a commitment to lifelong learning 
  • Engage in practice which acknowledges the fundamentally multicultural nature of contemporary societies and acknowledges the unique position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, seeking to promote the rights of these groups 

Course Learning Outcomes 

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  1. Describe the purpose and function of human service organisations and social work roles in Australia and internationally
  2. Critically appraise models of practice and their use in contemporary practice settings 
  3. Engage clients professionally in casework, crisis, advocacy and case management processes, using strength-based approaches, to work with consumers of social work services.
  4. Analyse, name and address power dynamics, oppression and injustices in the psychological, systemic and gendered contexts of peoples’ lives.
  5. Critically reflect on your experiences of privilege and oppression, identifying your strengths and challenges in engaging people from diverse backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Overview of Learning Activities

Weekly lectures, recorded on Canvas and set readings will provide the background for weekly two-hour tutorials. Tutorials provide opportunities to engage actively in experiential learning exercises via exploration of case material, self-reflection, role plays and discussions. Role plays will enhance your skills in client engagement, assessment, dealing with client aggression and conflict, grief and loss. You will take turns playing the social worker, client and observer and give feedback to your colleagues. You will be challenged to reflect on and debate different value positions, concepts and issues.  

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. 

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources.

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 

Overview of Assessment

Overview of Assessment You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning.

The assessment tasks provide opportunities for you to demonstrate your development of knowledge and skills described in the course learning outcomes (CLO)s for this course.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Two short online quizzes (20%). This assessment addresses Course Learning Objectives (CLO’s) 1, 2, 3 & 4.

Assessment Task 2: A 5 minute simulated interview video demonstrating interview microskills and 1000 words critical reflection (30%). CLOs 3, 4 & 5.

Assessment Task 3: A 12 to 15 minute video of simulated interview demonstrating engagement and assessment skills, 1500 words critical reflection and corresponding case plan, genogram and ecomap (50%). CLO’s 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.