WELF 3001 Child Abuse as a Social Issue

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101381

Coordinator Samia Michail Opens in new window

Description This unit enables students to examine the way in which child abuse has become a public issue. It considers the assumptions, values and interests which underlie definitions of abuse as well as intervention and prevention strategies promoted to protect children from abuse. In order to do this, students will examine constructions of childhood, the positioning of children and attitudes towards children and families. They will explore the various responses to child abuse in contemporary systems, policies and practices that work to address child abuse. Students will develop the skills required to ensure that children are active participants in decisions made for their protection.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Human Welfare Studies and Services, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Equivalent Subjects LGYB 5808 - Child Abuse as a Social Issue

Restrictions Successful completion of 80 credit points

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Identify and describe the ideologies in society that shape child abuse discourse including social constructions of children and childhood
  2. Critically analyse the child protection system (policy, research and practice) including the roles of key stakeholders; agencies, families, the State, the media and children themselves
  3. Evaluate the role of children in child protection contexts; children�fs rights, children�fs views and children�fs participation particularly in relation to decision-making
  4. Recognise and examine the impact of social, cultural, political and contextual factors on the position of children; issues of CALD, disability, Aboriginality, class, gender)
  5. Demonstrate critical thinking skills required to respond to the needs of children in a child protection context

Subject Content

History of child abuse; definitions and social constructions of children, childhood and abuse; incidence and prevalence; discourse on risk and protection
Theoretical frameworks, approaches, methods and how they are applied in practice; the role of values
Child protection systems I (key stakeholders; statutory, welfare and social responses)
Child protection systems II (policies and processes, legislation, out-of-home care, early intervention and prevention)
Children?fs role in child protection; children?fs rights, children?fs views and children?fs participation in decision-making
Social relations and diversity within child abuse; issues of CALD, disability, Aboriginality, class, and gender.
Macro view; system reviews and inquiries, research, reflexive practice, future directions


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Portfolio 750 words 30 N Individual
Annotated bibliography 750 words 30 N Individual
Presentation 1,500 words 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Online weekly readings
  • Fernandez, Elizabeth, and Delfabbro, Paul H. , Editor. Child Protection and the Care Continuum : Theoretical, Empirical and Practice Insights. 2021. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group. London and New York. ISBN 9781760529680 https://www.routledge.com/Child-Protection-and-the-Care-Continuum-Theoretical-Empirical-and-Practice/Fernandez-Delfabbro/p/book/9781760529680

Teaching Periods

Summer A



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WSU Online TRI-2

Wsu Online


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Parramatta - Victoria Rd


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