Human Services Structures

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Human Services Structures

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Social Policy, Social Work

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description:
    This course introduces human services within its broader historical, socio-cultural, political and economic contexts. It examines the Australian post - welfare state and the contested ideas, philosophies, theories, institutional forms and professional identities associated with it. The course provides a set of frameworks and concepts for analysing historical, present and future changes in the structures and content of human service provision. The aim is to familiarise students with the language, key concepts, tensions and trajectories of the diverse human services field, whilst assisting students to use such concepts in analysis of specific areas of human service pertinent to their professional interests
    Course Introduction
    Welcome to 1006HSV. It is important for emerging human service practitioners to understand the broader context that influences how program and service delivery models are structured. This course introduces students to the efforts to implement a welfare state in Australia, the history of welfare service delivery and the current challenges for practice in a contemporary environment. The course considers the different philosophies behind political differences that influence different government approaches to human services. It encourages students to form their own views about how they make sense of the inherent tensions that influence the allocation of resources. Tensions about who has access to services, what is equitable, why some groups are excluded or targeted by policy-makers.
    The course provides an opportunity to begin to understand the complex social arrangements, that is, the institutions and structures that ultimately impact on service users. It provides a necessary foundation upon which to build knowledge about how to work effectively in of a range of human service fields. Students are expected to attend lectures and to actively involve themselves in discussions. Students are invited to consider new ideas that may challenge their world views. The diversity of students at Griffith provides rich opportunities for learning in this course as many students already have a range of experiences including migration, parenting, caring for family members and have lived experiences of services and systems and the social policies that shape them.
    Course Aims
    The principal aim of 1006HSV is for students to become familiar with the various political, economic, institutional and technical forces that shape human services and to consider the various impacts of human services for the individuals, families, groups and communities served by them. The course aims to prepare students as practitioners who are conversant with the plurality of values, discourses and institutional arrangements which constitute the Australian post-welfare state, so that they become informed practitioners, critics and advocates in a changing welfare context.
    The course also aims to establish a basis for reflective practice by supporting students to identify how the various attitudes, values, beliefs and constructions, that they bring with them into the program, are part of the forcefield shaping the practice of emerging practitioners.
    The course aims to develop skills in analysis, reflection, written and verbal communication, problem solving, working with others and developing professional orientation and responsibility.
    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1 be familiar with the history, philosophies, politics, institutional structures and technologies of the Australian post-welfare state.
    2 draw on human services literature to develop a framework for analysis of welfare and human services.
    3 use this understanding to participate in debates, decision making and problem solving pertinent to human service contexts.
    4 use this knowledge to reflect on the outcomes of your own actions, your own values and commitments, and the human service contexts you operate within.
    5 demonstrate capacity to read and analyse an article, compare the arguments and perspectives of various authors, identify the welfare assumptions and concepts through which arguments are constructed, critically evaluate various positions, articulate and reflect on your own position in relation to policy and research and written communication skills.

    Assessment Task

    Weighting/Marked out of

    Assignment - Written Assignment


    Assignment - Written Assignment
    Written assignment


    Assignment - Written Assignment
    Major Paper


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.