Course Title: Discourses of Care, Control and Protection

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Discourses of Care, Control and Protection

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021

Course Coordinator: Assoc Professor Bawa Kuyini

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3131

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: B8.L10.R33

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Pre-requisite is HWSS2111 Casework, Counselling and Advocacy and pre-requisite or co-requisite is HWSS2094 Critical Social Work

Course Description

This course will examine issues of care, control and protection affecting human service professionals in a variety of sectors. Specific emphasis will be given to the wellbeing and protection of children across a range of practice areas and to mental health practices in a range of social work settings. This course also focuses on the history and construction of community care, and post-modern understandings of social control.

You will analyse protective practices of considerable moral and political complexity in the context of contemporary social work practice. You will also examine the relationships between neo-liberalism, risk theory and management, and protective social work practice.

This course integrates social work practice skills and theories, and includes critical analysis of the issues faced by individuals, families and communities implicated in discourses of care, control and protection.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  1. Identify and critically analyse the ethical dilemmas, assessment frameworks and interventions in child protection and mental health practice.
  2. Appraise and reflect on dominant discourses and debates currently structuring social work practice in child protection and mental health.
  3. Critically assess the distinctive contribution of social workers to wellbeing in the community including attitudes and values, and knowledge and skills for social work practice.
  4. Critically analyse the discursive construction of care, control and protection in social work practice and identify the implications for service users and practitioners.


You will be assessed on your development of the following program learning outcomes in this course:

  • Apply specialist social work knowledge and skills to understanding and responding to contemporary social disadvantage, oppression and marginalisation, recognising the fundamentally political nature of social suffering.
  • 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.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be engaged in learning that involves a range of activities including discussions in class and online, role-plays, experiential exercises and independent personal reading/research.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. Copies of power point presentations, and lectopia recordings, of the lectures will normally be made available online, and a list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer. These learning resources will include books, journal articles and web resources.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1 : 2 x Short answer questions or exercises  30%  CLOs 1, 2

Assessment Task 2: : 2 x Short answer questions or exercises  30%  CLOs 1, 2

Assessment Task 3: Case study Assessment, Report to Child Protection or Court Report 40%  CLOs 3, 4


  • You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment tasks are mapped to the learning outcomes. 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 the Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.
  • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: