Course Title: Work with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2016

Course Code: HWSS6073C

Course Title: Work with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4363 - Certificate IV in Community Services

Course Contact: Bronwyn Tanti

Course Contact Phone: 9925 9079

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 85

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to work with people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, including women and children experiencing family violence.

This unit applies to work in a range of roles at any level within a community services and health context.

This unit is delivered in conjunction with:

CHCMHS001 Work with people with mental health issues.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCSOH001 Work with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness


1. Address issues associated with people who are experiencing homelessness or risk of becoming homeless

Performance Criteria:


1.1 Be aware of own personal values and attitudes regarding homelessness and take these into account when planning and implementing work activities

1.2 Identify barriers in accessing safe, secure housing for people in specific circumstances experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless

1.3 Where appropriate, ensure opportunities are provided for the person to participate in service planning and support activities

1.4 Assess the personal safety of those experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, including young homeless to ensure they are not in an unsafe situation and report and refer appropriately

1.5 Assess issues impacting on the person’s homelessness risk or situation and modify the approach to service delivery

1.6 Work with the person to identify and discuss potential solutions to complex issues raised, including referral to appropriate services and personnel

1.7 Provide advice and assistance on housing options



2. Support and advocate for people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless

Performance Criteria:


2.1 Advocate and negotiate for services in conjunction with the person and according to the person’s needs

2.2 Support the person to advocate and/or negotiate on their own behalf and to deal with discrimination

2.3 Negotiate and create access pathways to support services and the full range of social and private housing providers

2.4 Use a range of advocacy techniques that take into account differing cultural backgrounds, are age appropriate and gender sensitive

2.5 Advocate within the community to facilitate addressing issues on behalf of people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless


Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this course you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate competency in the above elements.

Details of Learning Activities


In class: Lectures, discussions and group activities

Teaching Schedule


Week 1

Introduction to mental health

  • The area in Australia, different contexts
  • Mental health myths and facts
  • The relationship between mental health and homelessness

Week 2

Mental health sector values and principles

  • Understanding the values of the mental health sector
  • The principles underpinning service provision
  • Holistic approach
  • Recovery oriented practice
  • Social inclusion

Week 3

Understanding mental health issues

  • Mental health illnesses and disorders
  • Mental health in adulthood and older people
  • Adolescent and childhood mental health

Week 4

Communicating effectively with clients

  • Developing and maintaining respect, hope, trust and self-direction
  • Working in a way that reflects and prioritises the person’s right to self-define and direct their own recovery

Week 5

Empowering clients

  • Why empowerment is critical for the client to meet their goals
  • Working with clients to develop strategies that support recovery
  • Promoting dignity of risk and supporting individual choice
  • Overcoming effects of prejudice and discrimination
  • Being mindful of own values, attitudes and preferences

Week 6

Assessing a client’s homelessness risk or situation

  • Types of assessment tools and understanding homelessness risk criteria
  • Gathering information and requesting information from other sources
  • Identifying barriers to accessing accommodation services
  • Reporting children at risk of homelessness

Week 7

Providing and adapting service to meet needs

  • Determining how current service provision need to be adapted
  • Adapting service provision to meet needs
  • Making referral to relevant providers

Week 8

Providing advice and assistance on housing options

  • Working with client to help identify solutions
  • Researching housing options
  • Providing appropriate and relevant information

Week 9

Advocating for and with clients

  • Advocacy techniques to realise rights
  • Helping the client to advocate for themselves
  • Advocating within the community to address issues

Week 10

Negotiating for services

  • Working with or negotiating on behalf of clients
  • Negotiation techniques
  • Helping to create access to support services



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

This unit is assessed in conjunction with CHCMHS001 Work with people with mental health issues.

There are four assessment tasks for this unit consisting of 1 group, 1 individual and 2 quizzes.

Assessment Tasks


This course is delivered and assessed in a cluster with:-

CHCMHS001 Work with people with mental health issues


 Assessment task 1: Complete an online quiz to test your knowledge of the key issues and concepts related to mental health and homelessness work. (Due by end of week 10)

Assessment task 2: Prepare a report describing how you worked with three people with mental health issues to support empowerment and recovery. Your work will be based on scenarios. (in class and due by week 6)

Assessment task 3: Based on a case study, identify a child at risk of homelessness and make recommendations on how to deal with the situation. (due by week 8)

Assessment task 4: Develop a plan to support a family, based on a scenario, to secure housing. (due by week 12)


Assessment Matrix


The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. These matrix’s are available through program administration.

Other Information


Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of implications of plagiarism.

It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Applying for an Extension

Extension of time for assessment tasks may be granted where circumstances beyond your control prevent submission by the published due date. Speak with your teacher or course coordinator regarding applying for an extension.

Applying for Special Consideration

If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.

If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website:

The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing

Plagiarism and Collusion

Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.

Examples of plagiarism include:

  • Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
  • Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
  • Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
  • Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
  • Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
  • Copying a whole or any part of another student's work; and
  • Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
  • Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.

For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 (unresolved) – and the RMIT Student Conduct Regulations –;ID=r7a7an6qug93

Plagiarism Software

The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:

Complaints Procedure:

RMIT University is committed to providing a harmonious study and work environment for all students and staff. The University recognises your right to raise concerns about academic, administrative or support services without recrimination and has policies and procedures to assist in the resolution of complaints.

Most issues are resolved at the local level and you are encouraged to take steps to resolve your issue locally. The student complaint procedure details steps to take if your problem is not resolved or you believe the response you received is unreasonable.

Student Complaints Policy:

Student complaints Procedure:;ID=i1lexipvjt22

Student Complaints Form:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview