WELF 4001 Contemporary Social Work Practice

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 400518

Coordinator Suzanne Egan Opens in new window

Description This subject provides a forum in which students can examine contemporary issues that impact on social work practice. The use of technology in social work practice and its implications for clients and practitioners; the exploration of culturally and spiritually sensitive and creative approaches to social work practice; and human rights based practice. Students are encouraged to take a critical best practice approach, identifying the best aspects of social work practice and seeking to replicate it. There is a particular emphasis on applying this approach to child wellbeing and protection, mental health and work with Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islander groups.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Social Work

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 4 subject

Pre-requisite(s) WELF3020 - Field Education 1 OR WELF2005 - Field Education 1


Students must be enrolled in 1666 Bachelor of Social Work or 1713 Bachelor of Criminal and Community Justice/Bachelor of Social Work.

Assumed Knowledge

Advanced understanding of practice theories and range of social work methods including casework, group work, community work, research and policy.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Identify major contemporary issues influencing the ways social workers practise, particularly related to the use of technology and social media;
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the need to practise in a culturally and spiritually sensitive manner, including in work with Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders;
  3. Apply critical, reflective and creative skills to make informed decisions in professional and applied contexts;
  4. Outline ways in which practitioners can work to intervene effectively to assist individual and groups of clients in a variety of contexts;
  5. Analyse their own social work practice and that of colleagues, to identify and replicate the best aspects;
  6. Generalise their learning from a specific practice situation to the overall context in which such situations arise.

Subject Content

1. Technology and social media in social work practice and services
2. Disability
3. Critical best practice and appreciative inquiry
4. Mental health
5. Child protection and child well being
6. Working alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities
7. Interdisciplinary practice
8. Culturally sensitive approaches to social work
9. Working with older people and communities


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.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Proposal 500 words 20 N Individual
Reflection 1,000 words 40 N Individual
Report 1,500 words 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Alston, M. & McCurdy, S. (Eds.). (2018). Social Work: Fields of Practice. (3rd ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
  • Jones, K., Cooper, B., Ferguson, H. (eds) (2008) Best Practice in Social Work: Critical Perspectives, Palgrave Macmillan

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)



Subject Contact Suzanne Egan Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Suzanne Egan Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window