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HSW1300 Introduction to Child Protection Practice

Semester 2, 2022 Ipswich On-campus
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Wellbeing
Student contribution band : Band 2
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 2 July 2022


Examiner: David Steggall


Over the last two decades in Australia and other countries, statutory child protection services have had to manage increasing numbers of children and young people entering and remaining in the child protection system. Given the breadth and scope of child protection work across Government and Non-Government agencies, it is crucial for human services professionals to understand the foundational concepts that contribute to child protection practice. Practitioners must be cognisant of the influence of their own values and experiences on thresholds of risk. Human services professionals must learn critically reflective practice as an essential introductory concept in the safety and well-being of children and young people.

This course will enable participants to examine the origins and evolution of the idea of child protection practice and underpinning theoretical concepts. The moral, social, educational, legal and political discourses as well as educational, psychological, sociological and medical theories of child development will be considered as contributors to shaping child protection practice. A socio-political lens will be applied to child protection practice and the influence of broader social structures on child abuse will be considered. Further, participants will reflect on how their own values, beliefs and experiences shape how they might approach assessing the safety and wellbeing of a child and/or young person.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Describe and critique the definition of child abuse and the competing discourses and theoretical perspectives that contribute to how this definition is enacted in practice.
  2. Describe the origins and evolution of the idea of child protection practice.
  3. Critically reflect on how personal values and beliefs influence risk assessment in child protection practice.
  4. Determine the breadth and scope of child protection practice across Government and Non-Government sectors.
  5. Examine effective roles for human service workers within child protection practice.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Origin and Evolution of the idea of Child Protection Practice 12.50
2. Dominant Discourses Shaping Perspectives on Risk 12.50
3. Theoretical Underpinnings of Child Abuse 12.50
4. The Social Construction of Child Abuse 12.50
5. Application of Theoretical Underpinnings to Practice 12.50
6. The Influence of Personal Values and Beliefs 12.50
7. Critically Reflective Child Protection Practice 12.50
8. Determining Knowledge for Child Protection Practice 12.50

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%)
Assignments Written Case Study No 20
Assignments Written Essay 1 No 40
Assignments Written Essay 2 No 40
Date printed 2 July 2022