SWM5225 - Family violence and social work practice - 2019

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Social Work

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Deborah Western


Dr Deborah Western

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis.

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (Online)


Must be enrolled in M6012


In this unit students will examine professional social work practice in relation to family/domestic violence (FDV) and explore the roles and obligations of social workers in the response to and prevention of family violence.

Attention will be drawn to contemporary knowledge and theories regarding family violence and the ways in which this knowledge can be applied in practice. Critical reflection and analysis of knowledge, values and practice/skills constitutes an integral component of the unit.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse the gendered drivers (particularly gender inequality) and reinforcing factors associated with family violence from critical, feminist, intersectional and anti-oppressive theoretical positions and practice-based frameworks
  2. Identify and analyse the multiple and complex impacts of family violence on victim/survivors and the broader community
  3. Identify and interpret the different and additional manifestations and impacts of family violence on diverse individuals and communities including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, refugee and immigrant women, LGBTIQ+ individuals and women with disabilities.
  4. Identify and appraise contemporary approaches to social work practice in responding to family violence, Iincluding risk assessment and case management), and formulate an intervention plan
  5. Compare emerging family violence prevention strategies and assess the potential for long-term processes of family violence prevention through the lens of social work.
  6. Demonstrate an applied understanding of family violence legislation and policy
  7. Critically reflect on and employ communication and engagement skills with family violence clients
  8. Critically reflect on their personal views, values and assumptions about family violence
  9. Relate their knowledge and practice skills as social workers to key professional practice attributes and capabilities of family violence social work practitioners.


  • Critical reflection 1 (1,500 words) (10%)
  • Theoretical and conceptual essay (2500 words) (25%)
  • Case study analysis (4,000 words) (35%)
  • Critical reflection 2 (2,500 words) (20%)
  • Online participation (1,500 words) (10%)

Workload requirements

This is an off-campus unit.

Students are expected to undertake 12 hours of directed learning activities and 12 hours of self-directed learning including private study.

The unit runs for 12 weeks. For a 12 point unit, off-campus students are expected to spend 24 hours per week completing set learning activities outlined on the Moodle site, participating in online discussion groups, undertaking set readings, and engaging in private study. Private study can include readings additional to the set reading, reflective journalling and field notes, completing assignments and research activities.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study