No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2016

SWK415 Social Work and Social Policy I (8)


This subject aims to develop conceptual and theoretical understanding of social policy and its usefulness in social work practice. It discusses the meaning, nature and historical development of social policy. It debates issues about social needs and goals, contemporary influences on social policy, relevant economics concepts, comparative perspective and the need for balancing the economic development with human development.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details prior to contacting their course coordinator: SWK415
Where differences exist between the handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Humanities and Social Sciences

Enrolment restrictions

BSW and BA/BSW students only

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
Understand the nature of social policy and the importance of social policy for social work practice;
Understand the historical development of Australian welfare state and social policies and different social policy approaches;
Understand the impact of economic rationalism, managerialism and globalisation on the welfare state, social policies and social work practice;
Understand social goals and values;
Be familiar with relevant economics concepts to understand certain social policy issues;
Understand the debate between economic development and social development and the role of social workers in balancing the two.


The subject will cover the following topics:
Unit 1: The nature of social policy and the importance of social policy for social work practice. Unit 2: Historical development (Australian) welfare state/ social policies Unit 3: Approaches to social policy (residual, institutional and universal) Unit 4: Debates about social needs and goals vis - a - vis social work mission and principles (social justice, needs, goals, liberalism, individualism, socialism and citizenship) Unit 5: Contemporary influences of economic rationalism, managerialism, feminism (post modernism) and globalisation Unit 6: Comparative social policy Unit 7: Importance of understanding some economics concepts to understand certain social policy issues Unit 8: Balancing economic development with human (social) development: Role of social workers in balancing the two


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.