JCU Australia logo

Subject Search

WS5516 - Foundations for Social Work Practice

Credit points: 3
Year: 2015
Student Contribution Band: Band 1
Administered by: College of Arts, Society & Education

Available to holders of a Bachelor degree who have been admitted to the MSW (Qualifying)

This subject introduces students to the key professional underpinnings, skills, processes and ethical concerns relevant to social work practice. It emphasizes the role of social justice in Australian social work and explores how it underpins and informs social work practices, particularly when working in individual and group settings and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. During the subject students will explore their own values and ethics; consider the use of the AASW professional Code of Ethics as a tool for unravelling ethical dilemmas; and, review skills and frameworks that can be used when interacting with individuals and groups. Students will be required to demonstrate empathic, respectful, interpersonal skills in both one-on-one interactions and in small groups as well as identify, reflect upon and critique their use of those skills in relation to their own developing practice framework.

Learning Outcomes

  • be able to critically appraise the history and context of social work practice in Australia with a focus on its impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • be able to articulate an understanding of the values and ethics relevant to social work practice and critique their application in the work place context;
  • demonstate a high level of responsibility and accountability for own learning and professional development;
  • be able to plan, conduct and achieve effective professional listening and reflective communication skills in one on one interactions and group settings and use these skills in helping achieve individual goals and toward transforming structures, processes, practices and inequities;
  • be able to critique and apply core theoretical frameworks to engage with and enable individuals and groups to achieve individual social and environmental justice.


Cairns, Limited, Study Period 1
Census Date 26-Mar-2015
Face to face teaching (Compulsory on campus workshop)
Coord/Lect: Dr Jo Mensinga.
Assessment: skills demonstration and reflective statement (40%); essays (20%); group work proposal and reflective statement (40%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.