Course Title: Working in Partnership with Families

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Working in Partnership with Families

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

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)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Kerrie Buchanan

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7786

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.07.015

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Bachelor degree or equivalent, in a related health or community service field.

Course Description

Working in partnership with families is a crucial skill for professionals supporting families with young children. This course consists of online lectorials and on campus workshops. It will focus on both theory and the development of applied knowledge with the microskills of communication, empathy and the recognition and management of constructs in order to develop effective and empowering relationships with families. The course also addresses strategies for working with diverse groups, Motivational Interviewing, mental health first aid and self-care.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the Program Learning Outcomes for GD159 Graduate Diploma in Child and Family Health Nursing in the following way: 

  • PLO 3:  Critically evaluate contemporary research findings and integrate these to provide comprehensive, safe and effective evidence based health care for children, families and the community
  • PLO 5:  Conduct individual and family consultations and group sessions in a planned, systematic, professional and timely manner, providing feedback to families and engaging them in decision making regarding their own care.
  • PLO 6:  Communicate effectively with children, families and groups to engage and support clients, working in partnership with families and interdisciplinary health teams to promote, assess and support maternal, child and family health wellbeing.

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

1. Critically apply knowledge and skills related to advanced communication skills using a range of simulated and authentic situations involving professional-client relationships.

2. Demonstrate the appropriate use of communication microskills such as active listening, empathy and questioning when working in partnership with families to help them identify and achieve their goals.

3. Identify, appraise and exhibit appropriate communication skills to detect and sensitively challenge clients’ unhelpful constructs and emotions to then enable effective and empowering ‘helping’ relationships with families.

4. Distinguish particular communication strategies which may apply in communication with diverse groups; for example:

  • Children and families Families from Indigenous and CALD backgrounds
  •  Professional colleagues
  • Individuals and families affected by mental illness

5. Critically evaluate motivational interviewing techniques and apply these when working with families.

6. Apply risk assessment skills and mental health first aid in interactions with families.

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will participate in online lectorials as well as experiential workshops exploring a range of communication skills and empathy as they apply to your work with families with young children. The course will comprise presentation of theory, group discussions, interactive learning and communication skills activities. The activities will enable you to increase your understanding, skills and confidence in engaging and building relationships with clients, colleagues and others from diverse areas of practice. Recommended readings and some observational activities will be provided to enhance your learning.

Self-Directed Learning: You are expected to undertake self-directed learning activities to develop and consolidate knowledge throughout this learning experience. The activities associated with this course are designed to enable you to better develop independent communication skills to support your practise as an advanced nursing professional. The self-directed learning activities will also enhance your understanding of the material covered in the learning program and enhance the consolidation and application of that knowledge.

RMIT have state of the art simulated learning facilities for student learning and practice. You will participate in simulated practice within these facilities in preparation for placement. As a part of participation you may be filmed for learning, teaching, reflection and assessment and this is considered an inherent part of our learning and teaching program. Recordings will be maintained in accordance with our assessment, document retention and privacy policies.

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. Seminar material will be delivered via online and face to face workshops. These will emphasise practical learning activities, including simulations. The workshops will be supplemented by class discussions, group work, and online resources.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Reflective Journal

Weighting 35%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 2: Reflection on Parent Interview

Weighting 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4

Assessment Task 3: Literature review

Weighting 35%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4