HCS200 Social Work Theory and Practice 1 - Foundations of Practice (8)

This subject is the first of four foundational social work theory and practice subjects.   This subject will cover the history, ethics and core values, models of helping and foundational theory and communication skills of social work practice. Emphasis is on the early stages of intervention including engagement and assessment at the individual level, family, group and community level.  This subject also introduces the concepts of social inclusion, diversity, globalisation and sustainability within a social work framework.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Dubbo Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: HCS200. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

HCS102 and HCS111 and HCS103 

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • demonstrate core communication skills
  • outline key aspects of the development of social work as a profession
  • understand and apply social work core values and ethics
  • have a general understanding of discourse and practice theory relevant to social work and be able to articulate and critically apply this knowledge
  • explain the concepts of diversity, global citizenship, positionality, privilege and sustainability to social work practice
  • demonstrate critical thinking skills and reflective practice skills
  • participate in face-to-face learning activities as per accreditation requirements


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • History of social work and foundations of a social work identity
  • Core values, Social Work Code of Ethics and Practice Standards
  • Broad framework of discourse and social work practice theory across the individual, family, group and community level
  • Outline and develop basic micro skills and foundational communication skills for practice
  • Fundamentals of cultural sensitivity, social inclusion, responding to difference and diversity
  • Fundamentals of globalisation and sustainability and their relevance to social work practice
  • Foundations for critical thinking and self reflection

Residential School

This subject contains a 5 day Compulsory Residential School.

The residential school will involve the students in interactive experiential learning all basic skills in a safe environment. It will provide specific lectures and opportunities for discussion and clarification of key concepts and processes. There will be individual and group activities to ensure that students have a clear understanding of the assessment process in preparation for their first practicum.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or ask@csu.edu.au or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.