Course Title: Contemporary Human Services Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Contemporary Human Services Practice

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng


Sem 2 2011

Course Coordinator: Dr Susie Costello

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3234

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 8.7.21

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no pre-requisites required for this course.

Course Description

The course scopes the ideological, political and legal context in which service delivery is undertaken in terms of the broader social context of transforming the welfare state. It will explore the dominant frameworks for conceptualising and responding to ‘social problems’ and the role of the state and the non-state sectors in service delivery and the relationships between them.

The course is designed to enhance your knowledge of the practical implications of relevant legislation and principals in family support organisations. The application of principals of natural justice, administrative equity and procedural fairness, human rights, and the right to information and privacy will be considered. More specifically, relevant legislation which shapes the overall context of practice, and which govern organisations and their employees, will be investigated, including: Victoria Child Wellbeing and Safety Act (2005); Children, Youth and Families Act (2005); and the Disability Services Act (2006). There is an emphasis on practical application of the legislation and principals through consideration of legal status of formal records and how to write, record and deliver information as evidence in various family support settings including formal court proceedings.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The course fosters development of the following graduate capabilities:

1. Develop advanced knowledge and practice skills to work with and for vulnerable families.
2. Articulate the strengths and limits of the state’s policy, legislative and institutional arrangements on the context and practices of family services.
3. Promote reflexive, ethical, respectful, accountable and transparent family support practice processes.

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate advanced professional writing and professional presentation skills including giving evidence in formal and writing case notes and reports
  • Demonstrate a capacity to work within the constraints posed by the contemporary human services industry
  • Apply evidence and negotiation skills for successful case and cause advocacy
  • Reflect upon and integrate the principles of freedom of information and the rights service users have in regards to recorded materials into your everyday practice

Overview of Learning Activities

You will experience a range of learning activites that will assist in  developing your understanding of the themes, concepts and skills taught in this course. 

Overview of Learning Resources

Materials to assist your learning will be available through MyRMIT and the RMIT Library.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will be applied in nature and based on the learning objectives and capabilities listed above. The assessment in this course will be both formative and summative, and will total approximately 5000 words.
Assessment tasks may include items such as a portfolio, report or presentation.