Monash University

Undergraduate - Area of study

Students who commenced study in 2015 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your area of study.

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This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2015 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. Any units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Arts component of any bachelors double degrees.

Managing facultyFaculty of Arts
Offered bySouth Africa School of Social Science
Campus(es)South Africa
CoordinatorMr Charles Villet; Ms Precious-Pearl Vezi


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.


Child and youth development promotes and facilitates optimum development of children and adolescents with both normal and special developmental needs, ensuring that their effectiveness within all the contexts in which they function.

The developmental-ecological perspective adopted as the theoretical model of choice for this area of study emphasises the interaction between persons and the physical and social environments, including cultural and political settings. The value of such knowledge has become increasingly important both nationally and internationally as understanding of the importance of early life experiences to the later optimal development and well-being of the child becomes more apparent. Poor early life experiences can lead to deleterious outcomes from underachievement of potential to delinquency and deviancy.

Issues of major importance for the children and youth of South Africa and Africa include mother-to child HIV transmission rates, teenage pregnancies, access to medical treatment, child-run families, orphan status, adoption, poverty and abuse. In South Africa, the mean population age is young and this makes the need for adequately trained professionals to address the issues of children and youth even more of a national and international priority.

This area of study makes a significant contribution to the knowledge-base of child and youth care workers. The knowledge aims to prepare such workers for professional practice, which can focus on the infant, child and adolescent within the context of the family, the community and across the life span.

Professional practitioners promote the optimal development of children, youth and their families in a variety of settings, such as early care and education, community-based child and youth development programs, parent education and family support, school-based programs, community mental health, group homes, residential centres, rehabilitation programs, paediatric health care and juvenile justice programs. Child and youth care practice includes skills in assessing client and program needs, designing and implementing programs and planned environments, integrating developmental, preventive and therapeutic requirements into the life space, contributing to the development of knowledge and professions, and participating in systems interventions through direct care, supervision, administration, teaching, research, consultation and advocacy.

Students completing this major will have knowledge vital to the future development of South Africa and its neighbouring states. Such students will be sensitised to the developmental challenges facing the region and equiped to contribute to the betterment of its peoples while being sensitive to local cultures and beliefs.

Studies in child and youth development complement current majors offered at the Monash South Africa campus such as criminology and criminal justice, psychology, international studies, geography and environmental science, philosophy and sociology.


First-year level

Students studying a sequence in child and youth development must complete two units (12 points) from the following:

  • AZA1285 Child and youth development in South Africa: A person-in-environment perspective
  • AZA1286 Child and youth development: A five-level developmental model

Second/Third-year level

Students studying a minorminor ( or majormajor ( in child and youth development must have completed the first-year sequence. In addition:

Compulsory units

  • AZA2763 Child and youth assessment: Risk and protective factors, signs and symptoms
  • AZA2765 Child and youth interventions: Individual, group and community interventions

Elective units

  • AZA2762 Health and safety guidelines for children and youth
  • AZA2764 Building support networks for children and families
  • AZA3769 Family functioning and child abuse: The child and youth care worker's role
  • AZA3770 Intermediary services in courts: Protecting the rights of the child and youth victim
  • AZA3771 Management of community projects: Working preventatively with children, youth and families
  • AZA3772 Field placements in child and youth care settings

Relevant courses

4086 Bachelor of Social Science