Unit aim

Provides students with a critical understanding of policy and practice in child protection. Issues of child abuse and neglect, including domestic violence, are analysed in relation to government and other institutional initiatives in Australia. Emphasises practice issues with children and families living in unique circumstances. The role of the practitioner operating with critical analysis and critical self-reflection is framed against legal, policy, and evidence-informed practice considerations.

Unit content

Topic 1 Protection and critical thinking
Topic 2 Historical and legislative context
Topic 3 Impacts of child maltreatment
Topic 4 Theoretical frameworks informing practice
Topic 5 Types of programs in child and family welfare
Topic 6 Risk, harm, resilience and being informed by evidence
Topic 7 Service delivery (assessment)
Topic 8 Managing child protection work: Values and critical self-reflection
Topic 9 Managing child protection work: Ethical issues, self-care and organisational issues
Topic 10 Service delivery (intervention)
Topic 11 Children living in unique family circumstances (Part A)
Topic 12 Children living in unique family circumstances (Part B) and wrapping up Issues of Protection


Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • This is a new edition of the textbook from previous offerings of the unit. You will need to buy the new edition: Arney, F & Scott, D, 2013, Working with Vulnerable Families: A Partnership Approach, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne. ISBN: 9781107610668.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Gold Coast

Teaching method
Tutorial on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
Lecture on-site 1 hour (12 weeks)


Teaching method
Structured online learning 1 hour (12 weeks)
Lecture on-site 1 hour (12 weeks)

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2015 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.