Child-Centred Practice in Family Work

10 Units

This course provides knowledge and skill required to enable family and relationship service practitioners to promote the best interests of the child in accordance with the requirements of family law and other family policy and legislative frameworks. The course considers models of child inclusive practice, and equips students to facilitate parent participation in child inclusive counseling and dispute resolution processes. Knowledge and skill required to specialize in the role of child consultant within child inclusive family law mediation or counseling processes are covered.

Faculty Faculty of Health and Medicine
School School of Health Sciences
Availability Semester 1 - 2014 (WebLearn GradSchool)
Semester 1 - 2015 (WebLearn GradSchool)

At the successful completion of this course, students will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively:

  • Assess for appropriateness of a child inclusive approach, taking account of family situations that may indicate/involve child abuse and neglect
  • Create, facilitate and maintain child focused environments
  • Engage and Support parents to maintain child focused approaches in planning and actions.

  • Engage with and gather appropriate developmental history from parents.

  • Engage children and young people in assessment interviews.

  • Formulate children’s material into a working knowledge of their needs and experiences in line with developmental stages.

  • Integrate children’s needs and views into ongoing counseling or dispute resolution process.

  • Critically apply knowledge of core research findings to family dispute resolution or counseling processes.

  • Communicate needs, rights, and interests of children and young people to significant others.

  • Facilitate communication between children and/or young people and significant adults.

  • Ensure safety of children and young people in participatory processes.

  • Evaluate and monitor child focused practice.

  • Critically reflect on, and apply, practically what has been learnt theoretically within the course.

  • Theory and research relating to:

    • Child development.
    • Grief and loss.
    • Impact of conflict on children.
    • Impacts of family separation and attachment distress.
    • Vulnerability and resilience.
    • Expression through behaviour and play.
    • Conflict management and inclusion of children in conflict resolution processes
    • Legislative frameworks, including the provision for children and property in the Family Law Act, Child Support (Assessment) Act, and other relevant legislation.
  • Assessment, including:

    • Appropriateness of cases for a child inclusive approach, including consideration of child abuse and neglect.
    • Indicators of family and domestic violence.
    • Identifying , responding to and managing cultural dimensions of conflict
    • Protocols for child protection as per legislative and organisational policy frameworks.
    • Indicators of substance abuse.
  • Engaging parents in a child inclusive approach, including:

    • Appropriate contracting.
    • Supporting parents to maintain child focused approaches to planning and actions.
    • Seeking and engaging appropriate expert professional participation, including Child Consultants.
    • Clearly communicating roles of Dispute Resolution Practitioners, Counsellors, and Child Consultant to parents/carers and children.
    • Obtaining consent as appropriate.
    • Providing a child appropriate environment and resources to support children’s participation.
  • Facilitating child inclusive processes and feedback, including:

    • Assisting parents to see a child’s point of view.
    • Engaging with parents about including children in dispute resolution processes.
    • Creating and maintaining child focussed environments, including:
      • Planning activities and interactions with parents that are developmentally appropriate for the child.
      • Use of story telling, narrative approaches, and use of toys, sand play, drawing, puppets, books and other child centred resources,
      • Engaging reluctant and non-participative children.
    • Engaging children in assessment using age appropriate language and interview techniques.
  • Integrating children’s needs and views into counselling or dispute resolution processes; including:

    • Engaging the services of a Child Consultant.
    • Incorporating knowledge into interventions and supports relating to dispute resolution or counselling processes.
    • Ethical considerations
    • Documentation procedures, including:

      • Intake records
      • Case plans
      • Assessment reports
      • Observation recordings
      • Incident reports
      • Progressive case nots
      • Documentation for legal systems
    • Evaluating and monitoring child focused practice including:

      • Guiding and monitoring other staff
      • Reviewing policies and practices
      • Obtaining feedback from parents and children
Replacing Course(s) N/A
Transition N/A
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge Undergraduate degree in relevant discipline and/or equivalent professional experience in the field.
Modes of Delivery Flexible Delivery / Student Centred Learning
Teaching Methods Case Study
Email Discussion Group
Student Projects
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments -
  • Group/tutorial participation and contribution - Online Group/Tutorial Participation and Contribution
Contact Hours
  • Self Directed Learning: for 6 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
  • Seminar: for 30 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
  • Case Study: for 15 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
  • Student Projects: for 15 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
Compulsory Components None listed
Course Materials None listed
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for HLSC6514

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