Sociology Essay

Assessment Description:With reference to the course material and independently-researched academic resources, your papershould attempt to briefly discuss each of the following relevant areas: The historical development of community services in Australia (with examples of early human serviceworkers and organizations). Here, also consider the types of community service organizations whichhave developed. Compare and contrast non-government with government organizations over time giving briefexamples of each, and of the kind of services they deliver/ed. Assessment Brief
Program
Bachelor of Applied Social Science
Subject
Introduction to community services
Subject code
WEL101A
Name of assessment
Assessment 2: Research based essay
Length
1500 words
Learning outcomes addressed
by this assessment:
A, B, C, D, E
Submission Date:
Assessment brief summary:
End of week 6, Sunday 11:55pm
The Australian community service and healthcare systems have
developed within particular historical, professional, policy and
organizational contexts. Discuss the historical development of
community services in Australia today.
Total marks
30
Weighting
30%
Students are advised that any submissions past the due date incur a 10% penalty per day, calculated from the
total mark e.g. a task marked out of 40 will incur a 4 mark penalty per day.
Students must attempt all tasks in the unit to be eligible to pass the unit
More information can be found in Think Education Assessment Policy document on the Think Education website
(http://www.think.edu.au).
BASS – WEL101A Assessment 2
Page 1
Assessment Description:
With reference to the course material and independently-researched academic resources, your paper
should attempt to briefly discuss each of the following relevant areas:


The historical development of community services in Australia (with examples of early human service
workers and organisations). Here, also consider the types of community service organisations which
have developed.
Compare and contrast non-government with government organisations over time giving brief
examples of each, and of the kind of services they deliver/ed.
Marking Criteria:
Max. in
Your
category
points
Discussion of the historical development of community services in Australia
10
Analysis of similarities and differences between non-government with
10
government provision overtime
Number and choice of appropriate references
4
Word count, readability, and structure
3
In-text references and reference list, accuracy and use of correct referencing style
3
Total:
30
Comments:
What we want to see:
This essayi will incorporate a formal introduction, main points and conclusion; as this is an essay,
the introduction and conclusion, as well as individual paragraphs addressing different issues should
not be flagged with subheadings, but incorporated in the essay.
The work must be fully referenced with in-text citations and a reference list at the end. We
recommend you work with your Academic Writing Guide to ensure that you reference correctly. You
will find a link to this document on the main page of every unit, under the ‘Assessments’ section.
Correct academic writing and referencing are essential tasks that you need to learn. We
recommend a minimum of ten references.
Referencing: References are assessed for their quality. You should draw on quality academic
sources, such as books, chapters from edited books, journals etc. Your textbook can be used as a
reference, but not the Study Guide and lecture notes. We want to see evidence that you are capable
of conducting your own research. Also, in order to help markers determine students’ understanding
BASS – WEL101A Assessment 2
Page 2
of the work they cite, all in-text references (not just direct quotes) must include the specific page
number/s if shown in the original.
Researching: You can search for peer-reviewed journal articles, which you can find in the online
journal databases and which can be accessed from the library homepage. Reputable news sites
such as The Conversation (https://theconversation.com/au/health), online dictionaries and online
encyclopedias are acceptable as a starting point to gain knowledge about a topic. Government
departments, research institutes such as the National Health and Medical Research Council
(NHMRC), international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and local not
for profit organisations such as the Cancer Council are also good resources.
Formatting: The assessment MUST be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word format. Other
formats may not be readable by markers. Please be aware that any assessments submitted in other
formats will be considered LATE and will lose marks until it is presented in Word.
What we don’t want to see:
Plagiarism: All sources of information need to properly be acknowledged. Please refer to the
plagiarism website on blackboardii. By clicking the ‘Upload this file’ button you acknowledge that
you have read, understood and can confirm that the work you are about to submit complies with
the Flexible and Online plagiarism policy as shown in the JNI Student Handbook. Like other forms
of cheating plagiarism is treated seriously. Plagiarising students will be referred to the Program
Manager.
Word Count: Marks will be deducted for failure to adhere to the word count – as a general rule you
may go over or under by 10% than the stated length.
Late Submissions: Students are advised that any submissions past the due date incur a 10%
penalty per day, calculated from the total mark e.g. a task marked out of 30 will incur 3 marks
penalty per day.
No submission: Students must attempt all tasks to be eligible to pass the unit.
More information can be found in Think Education Assessment Policy document on the Think
Education website.
BASS – WEL101A Assessment 2
Page 3
Resources Available to YOU:
1. Academic writing guide link
https://laureateau.blackboard.com/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_20163_
1&content_id=_2498847_1&mode=reset
2. Writing & referencing: The link to the Learning and Academic Skills Unit
(LASU) is on the left pulldown menu on the blackboard home page:
https://laureateau.blackboard.com/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_20163_
1&content_id=_2498847_1&mode=reset
LASU also provides a series of academic skills tutorials.
3. Researching: A guide to researching is available on the library page
http://library.think.edu.au/research_skills/.
Please contact the online and Pyrmont librarian for Health if you would like further
help or a tutorial on how to do research this way.
By clicking the ‘Upload this file’ button below you acknowledge that you have read
and understood and can confirm that the work you are about to submit complies with
the Flexible and Online plagiarism policy as shown in the JNI Student Handbook.
i
https://laureateau.blackboard.com/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_20163_1&content_id=_2498856_1&mode=reset
ii
https://laureateau.blackboard.com/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_20163_1&content_id=_2498858_1&mode=reset
BASS – WEL101A Assessment 2
Page 4
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Week 2
Social policy, programs, legal framework
Week 2: Social policy
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Week 2: Social policy
Week overview
This week‟s topic focuses on social policy, which is an important factor in community
services. Policy is defined in broad terms, while social policy is discussed in closer detail.
The welfare state is revisited, this time as the context for generating social policy, and the
more recent impact of neo-liberalism on social policy is outlined. The difference between
social policy and programs is highlighted. The former is a broad platform of principles on
what, to whom and how services are to be delivered, while the latter refers to specific
initiatives on service delivery.
Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you should be able to:

Define policy and social policy.

Explain how social policy shapes community services.

Outline the impact which the welfare state, and later the neo-liberal state, had on
social policy.

Explain the difference between social policy and programs.
Prescribed textbook reading
Chapter 6, pp. 163–193 from Chenoweth, L. & McAuliffe, D. (2015). The road to social
work & human service practice (4th ed.). Melbourne: Cengage Learning.
Week 2: Social policy
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Policy
In broad terms, policy may be defined as a specified and carefully strategised and expressed
way of doing things in respect to something. Organisations and governments formulate
concrete and elaborate policies which help them govern their day-to-day activities and
structure longer term actions to achieve aims according to practical goals and ideological
values. Policy formulated and implemented by governments is referred to as public policy,
whereas policy made by individuals and non-government organisations is called private
policy.
Community workers most always are working within, or need to be aware of, particular
policy frameworks which direct and shape how services are delivered. These would almost
certainly include:

A government‟s social policy which directs the aims and principles of the program in
which the community worker is involved. For example, a community aged care
program would be shaped within the principles of the Living Longer Living Better
policy reforms.

The worker‟s organisation‟s policies. For instance, the processes to be used within the
organisation when conflict arises.

The policies of other organisations and agencies with which the worker interacts as
part of their role. For example, when new clients are to be assessed for entitlement to
access community aged care services, the worker will need to liaise with the Aged
Care Assessment Team, so it is helpful to understand the policies of this agency.
Social policy
Social policy is specifically concerned with the welfare or wellbeing of individuals, families
and communities. The classic definition of social policy (and one which still applies and is
drawn on by contemporary analysts) was provided by T.H Marshall. Marshall stated that
social policy refers to,
…the policy of governments with regard to action having a direct impact on the
welfare of citizens by providing them with services or income. The central core
consists, therefore, of social insurance, public assistance, the health and welfare
services and housing policy (Marshall, 1955, p.7).
Week 2: Social policy
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Some argue that social policy is part of economic policy because “…all social policies must
be considered within the context of the resources available to realise them” (Pollard, 1992,
pp.19-20). While this is true in a particular sense (for example, social programs need
resources which are generated by a society‟s economic system), care must be taken not to
simplify what is in essence a very complex and constantly changing political process. This
process ensures that social policy is also a mechanism through which notions of entitlement,
equity, fairness, obligations and access to services and resources are constantly debated,
negotiated, legitimated and redefined. Indeed, as Davis, Wanna, Warhurst and Weller (1993,
p.4) point out, policies “…are shaped by the constituent elements of politics, so that policies
represent victories or compromises encapsulated as programs for action by government”.
Indeed, recent writers argue that, although social policy is concerned with the distribution of
resources to identified groups and individuals in society, it nevertheless does this according to
prevalent values and notions of fairness and justice (Jamrozik 2009). That is, social policy is
driven not only by the ideological position of the government in power, but also by prevailing
social values. The values system (also referred to as the „normative context‟) in which
government activities take place is shaped by notions of what is good and bad. Indeed, since
the beginning of the recorded history of government, scholars (such as Aristotle) have
suggested that the fundamental driver of “good” government should be a concern with
providing the “good life” for the citizenry which it governs (Duncan 2005, p.17). It would
then be useful to view social policy as an activity which is very much subject to socially
accepted representations of what might constitute “happiness”, “wellbeing” and, more
generally, what the dichotomy of “good-bad” ought to mean.
Note: In the set text reading for this week (Chenoweth & McAuliffe, 2015, Ch 6), a number
of distinct social policy areas are discussed, such as the health sector, mental health, income,
youth, and so on. The list is not exhaustive; however it provides an indication of some of the
distinctive areas in social policy. These also double as categorise of „fields of practice‟ in the
authors‟ outline of the methods and approaches used by human service workers within these
fields.
Week 2: Social policy
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Reading 2.1
This reading describes the forms and meanings of social policy, and its scope. It also touches
on the welfare state and its relationship to contemporary social policy in Australia.
Access the following reading via the learning portal.
McClelland, A. (2007). What is social policy? In Social policy in Australia: Understanding
for action (McClelland, A. & Smyth, P. Eds.). Sth Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
pp. 5-20.
Social policy and programs
It is important to distinguish between social policy and programs. Social policy has two broad
dimensions: policy-making and implementation. Policy-making is a political process, in
which stakeholders like political parties, federal and state governments and various interest
groups are involved. It is shaped by the ideologies of the stakeholders, social issues and
availability of resources. As outlined above, in this sense social policy is a position platform
on what a political party or government is doing or planning to do in respect to some defined
social issue, or social needs.
When a policy is put into practice, the stage is termed „implementation‟. At this stage,
governments normally task departments and bureaucrats with developing and delivering
programs of services. Programs can be of any size, and can last a relatively short time or be
more or less permanent. The latter sort of programs is usually large, and regulated by a
legislative framework. For example, all federally-funded aged care programs, like the Home
and Community Car e (HACC) and the Community Aged Care Packages (CACP) programs,
are regulated by the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth). Community service professionals understand
that social policy impacts directly on how services are funded, and that it often effects
changes on community services.
Activity 2.1
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Week 2: Social policy
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
The state and civil society
It would be useful to clarify two important concepts, the state and civil community. In
community work, workers routinely deal with the state, usually by interacting with its
agencies and legal system on behalf of communities and individuals, and the organisations
they work in. They may seek funding, they provide reports or advocate on behalf of clients.
Community workers obviously work with communities, where people live and access
services – this is a sphere of social life which is separated from the state, and is referred to as
civil society. The following paragraphs define these two concepts.
The state is sometimes defined simply as „a nation‟s political institutions and governmental
system‟ (Self 1985: 16). However, in Max Weber‟s famous definition, the state is first of all
„a human community‟ – one which „successfully claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of
physical force within a given territory‟ (cited in Faulks 1999, p. 20). So „the state‟ is a
collection of individuals, some of which are allowed to use force (e.g., police or army
members), while others enjoy other exclusive rights (for example, magistrates can adjudicate
in disputes between individuals or groups, while policy makers and bureaucrats can
„determine‟ which individuals may have access to welfare and social services). We have all
met and interacted with such individuals in the persons of politicians, police, soldiers, judges,
government bureaucrats, and so on.
The civil society is seen as that part of society in which life mainly proceeds independently
from the state – what the Centre for Civil Society at the London School of Economics calls
„…the arena of uncoerced collective action around shared interests, purposes and values‟
(CSS 2004: online). This is a liberal notion of civil society – the original thinking did not
distinguish between the state and civil society. Indeed, the state was viewed to be the same
as civil society (the polity) – and civil society as understood today (separated from the state)
did not exist in the thinking of political philosophers. In the classical city-state (demos) of
Ancient Greece a person was a citizen on the basis that he (women were excluded from
political citizenship rights) shared both in the „administration of justice and in the holding of
office‟ (Aristotle, 1959: 67).
Week 2: Social policy
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
The welfare state
Australia is considered to be a welfare state. This term is generally meant to encompass and
give meaning to those government activities which lead to the making and implementation of
social policy. It can also indicate the attitude which the state (government, governance and
political system) has to how the basic needs of individuals and groups in society ought to be
provided for.
It is timely to pause and consider the concept „welfare‟ as it applies in the context of the
welfare state. Scholars have for some time distinguished between primary welfare and
residual welfare.

Primary welfare refers to the minimum life chances we all get through an efficientlyfunctioning economy and policy system which ensure all citizens have equal access to
education, employment, health care and so on.

Residual welfare refers to where support is provided such as unemployment benefit,
youth allowances child support, and so on. This implicitly implies that “…society‟s
institutional arrangements and access to provisions which are normally available in
society have broken down” (Jamrozik 2009, p.3).
In policy and practice talk, when „welfare‟ is discussed, it usually refers to residual welfare.
The modern Australian welfare state has, as Shaver (2001, p.278) notes, a „peculiar heritage‟,
and was at its strongest for a few decades after the Second World War. It was influenced by
the reformist measures which at the time were implemented in Great Britain – these measures
reflected principles of redistribution laid down in the theories of the influential economists
J.M. Keynes and W.H. Beveridge, who argued for government intervention to ensure more
secure economic outcomes and a fairer distribution of society‟s resources (Jamrozik, 2009).
Previous to this development, Australia (after the federation of 1901) developed a social
policy system which was reformist for its times in that it set out some limited entitlement
„rights‟ for its citizens. For example, the „Harvester judgement‟ of 1904 established the
concept of the minimum wage in Australia which was to be determined by „the normal needs
of the average employee regarded as a human being living in a civilised community‟ (cited in
Bessant et al, 2006, p.89).
Week 2: Social policy
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Nevertheless, in many respects Australian social policy was still being influenced by the
English Poor Law (of 1834). In this law dependence on welfare was seen largely as a moral
failure on the part of the recipients, who then had to be „managed‟ strictly by „charity‟
workers who distributed „poor relief‟ only to those assessed as the „deserving poor‟ (Bessant
et al, 2006, p.89). This meant that the needs of many in society, such as the unemployed,
Indigenous people, most women, many of the elderly and immigrants, were for some time
„managed‟ through policies which provided for minimal services and incomes – this acted
(some argue that it still acts) as a historical influence on social policy which contradicted and
undermined the idea of entitlement defined by social citizenship.
The notion of social citizenship is employed in modern analyses in its Marshallian sense to
explain membership of society which entails certain social, economic and political rights and
obligations (this is a complex analysis of social membership, but one which is recognised as a
very useful starting point in understanding social policy in a liberal democratic society)
(Jamrozik 2009, p.25). The concept can also explain (at least in part) the ideas underpinning
the social policy reforms undertaken after the Second World War, mainly in the period of the
Chiefly and Curtin Labor governments (1941-1947). In this period some fundamental rights
were established in law through the introduction of a „safety net‟ represented by child
endowment, widows‟ pensions, unemployment, sickness and invalid benefits, and a
pharmaceutical benefits scheme (Bessant et al, 2006, pp.91-92).
In the following three decades (1950s-1970s), various Australian governments (both Labor
and Liberal) introduced a raft of social policies which further underpinned „rights‟ and
„entitlements‟ derived from the notion of social citizenship. Indigenous people‟s right to be
recognised as equal to others in society, women‟s right to equal pay, universal right to aged
pension, universal medical care and free university education are some examples of
entitlement-based (universalist) social policies which were established in this period. The
arrival of a downturn in the national and global economies meant that the following period
(1980s – present) saw a resurgence of some pre-1940s ideas of governance and social policymaking.
Week 2: Social policy
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
References:
Aristotle (1959). Politics: The Athenian Constitution. Warrington, J. (Trans. and Ed.).
London: Heron Books.
Bessant, J., Watts, R., Dalton, T. & Smyth, P. (2006). Talking policy: How social policy is
made. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
Centre for Civil Society (2004) What is civil society?
http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/CCS/introduction.htm (accessed 01-03-2014).
Davis, G., Wanna, J., Warhurst, J. and Weller, P. (1993). Public policy in Australia. (2nd
ed.). St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
Dee, M. (2003). Harsh time at the Ministry of Fear? Australia‟s diminished citizenship of the
working poor. Paper presented to the Social Change in the 21st Century Conference, QUT:
Brisbane.
Faulks, K. (1999). Political Sociology: A Critical Introduction. New York: New York
University Press.
Marshall, T.H. (1955). Social policy. London: Hutchinson University Library.
Jamrozik, A. (2009). Social policy in the post-welfare state: Australian society in the 21st
century (3rd ed.). Pearson Education: Frenchs Forrest NSW.
Self, P. (1985). Political Theories of Modern Government. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen &
Unwin.
Shaver, S. (2001). Australian welfare reform: from citizenship to social engineering.
Australian Journal of Social Issues. 36(4): 277-294.
Weber, M. (1976). Class, status and party. In Society and Politics: Readings in Political
Sociology (Braungart, R.G.,Ed.). Eglewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.
Week 2: Social policy
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Activity 2.2
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Activity 2.3
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Activity 2.4
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Extension readings and resources
Paper by Mel Gray (2011) „The changing face of social welfare and social work in Australia‟
– includes background information on historical phases of social policy in Australia.
http://periodika.osu.cz/eris/dok/2011-02/changing_welfare_gray.pdf
ABC radio show discussing the Australian welfare state. View transcript or listen to the
audio. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/australia27s-welfarestate/4379252
Paper by Bernadine van Gramberg and Penny Bassett on neo-liberalism and the third sector
in Australia (the third sector refers to that part of civil society which includes nongovernment organisations) http://vuir.vu.edu.au/120/1/wp5_2005_bassett_gramberg.pdf
Cahill (2004) „The radical neo-liberal movement and its impact on Australian politics‟ – learn
more about neo-liberalism here
http://www.adelaide.edu.au/apsa/docs_papers/Aust%2520Pol/cahill.pdf
Now that you have completed this week, visit the learning portal to participate in the latest
discussion forum and to check your progress by completing the self-check questions.
Week 2: Social policy
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Week 3
Organisations: government and non-government
Week 3: Organisations: government and non-government
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Week 3: Organisations: government and non-government
Week overview
This week‟s topic is the community service organisation. The material covered explains the
characteristics of government and non-government organisations. The types of community
organisations, in terms of services they provide, are also discussed. The roles of community
workers within organisations are explored, and organisational governance is discussed.
Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, you should be able to:

Describe what a community service organisation is.

List types of community organisations.

Explain the difference between government and non-government organisations.

Outline some of the roles undertaken by workers within community organisations.
Prescribed textbook reading
Chapter 7, pp. 197–226 from Chenoweth, L. & McAuliffe, D. (2015). The road to social
work & human service practice (4th ed.). Melbourne: Cengage Learning.
Chapter 1, pp. 11-24 from McDonald, C., Craik, C., Hawkins, L. & Williams, J. (2011).
Professional practice in human service organisations. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.
Week 3: Organisations: government and non-government
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
What is an organisation?
An organisation is a social (and normally a legal) structure through which a group of people
aim to achieve common goals. Most scholars agree that organisations are first and foremost
about people who organise around common values, rules and social norms. Chenoweth and
McAuliffe (2015, citing Holland 1995), for instance, emphasise that organisations are:
“formalised groups of people who make coordinated use of resources and skills to
accomplish given goals and purposes”.
Organisations have distinguishable characteristics, with formal and informal rules which
structure what each do. An organisation has systems and processes through which the
activities of its members are regulated and directed, and resources are distributed to support
its activities. The organisation‟s system can be quite complex, as in large government
agencies, multi-national business or a large non-profit (like Anglicare), or quite simple – as in
local community organisations, or small special interest associations. The organisation‟s
system is often composed of a number of sub-systems, such as departments or teams. The
organisational system and procedures are shaped and directed by the organisation‟s mission
and values which, in turn, guide the organisation‟s strategic goals.
Most organisations develop individual and unique cultures. As Chenoweth and McAuliffe
(2015) point out, organisational culture consists of its symbols, language and rituals.
Community service organisations
Community (or human) service organisations differ from other organisations in important
ways, and as McDonald, Craik, Hawkins & Williams (2011, p.4) point out, and was
discussed previously (in Section 1), they are diverse. Many are also quite complex. In his
now classic work on human service organisations, Yeheskel Hasenfeld (1983, cited in Liddell
2003, p.8) listed a number of characteristics which distinguishes them:

Their „raw material‟ is people.

They often have vague goals – for instance „they want to help people‟, but have no
specific target groups.

They are surrounded by moral ambiguity, and various interest groups with differing
views on how is to deliver, or who is to receive services.
Week 3: Organisations: government and non-government
WEL101A
Introduction to community services

They often operate with what some see as unclear models of service delivery. For
example, case management cannot be easily reduced to a formula or so it is not
predictable either in its application or its outcome for clients and community workers.

The core activity of the organisation normally consists of the relations between
workers and clients.

Sometimes, community service organisations lack reliable and valid „measures‟ of
effectiveness, so they may be resistant to change and innovation.
A simple way to categorise community service organisations is along the classification
outlined by Chenoweth and McAuliffe (2015, p. 206):

Government or public agency

Third sector organisation

Private for-profit organisations
Another method is to classify a community organisation according to the type of service it
delivers (ABS and the Productivity Commission use this method), as follows:

Health: Hospitals & rehabilitation; Nursing homes; Mental health & crisis
intervention; other health services (for example, public health & wellness education).

Social Services: Child welfare, child services & day care; Youth services & youth
welfare; Family services; Services for the handicapped; Services for the elderly; Selfhelp & other personal social services; Disaster/emergency prevention & control;
Temporary shelters; Refugee assistance; Income support & maintenance; Material
assistance.

Law, Advocacy & Politics: Advocacy organisations; Civil rights associations; Ethnic
associations; Civic associations; Legal services; Crime prevention & public policy;
Rehabilitation of offenders; Victim support; Consumer protection associations;
Political parties & organisations.
Not-for-profit organisations
Week 3: Organisations: government and non-government
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Most non-government organisations which deliver community services are non-profit (short
for „not-for-profit‟). There are, however, an increasing number of for-profit organisations,
mainly operating programs for unemployed people. This guide concentrates on the nonprofit organisations, as these deliver the bulk of programs among non-government
organisations.
The non-profit sector in Australia is quite large. The Productivity Commission estimated in
2010 that there are around 600,000 organisations which are classified as non-profit. The
Australian Bureau of Statistics identified 59,000 of these which are economically significant
– contributing some $43 billion to Australian gross domestic product and eight per cent of the
total national employment in 2006-7. Some 4.3m million volunteers work within non-profits.
Interestingly, only about 20,000 non-profit organisations rely heavily on government funding,
with most of these operating in the human services area (Productivity Commission 2010,
p.xxiii).
The characteristics of non-profit organisations include,

Having a special status under tax law, where organisations do not pay tax or

Might be exempt under some provisions of anti-discrimination laws

Normally, they are managed by volunteer committees of management or boards

They can have any of the following legal structures:
o Companies limited by guarantee
o Incorporated Associations
o Cooperatives
o Incorporated by other means
o Unincorporated (this is the largest group, consisting of approximately 440000
organisations)

About 20000 non-profit organisations deliver community services programs and rely
on government funding.
Not-for-profit versus for-profit organisations
Week 3: Organisations: government and non-government
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
All organisations have at least a rudimentary business model of operation, which allows them
to plan for sustainability, obtain or access resources, and keep track of/be accountable for
their financial viability and operating budgets. It is often suggested that non-profits do not, or
should not aim to make profits. This is erroneous, since „non-profit‟ does not actually mean
that an organisation is not allowed to create profits. Rather, the non-profit organisation should
not distribute surplus income as profit to its members or funders. A non-profit differs in these
ways:

Profits are used solely for service delivery. By contrast, for-profits operate solely to
create profits on investments which are then distributed to investors.

Unlike a for-profit organisation, a non-profit organisation cannot be sold or traded,
though it can be merged with other non-profits.

A non-profit organisation cannot be floated on the stock market, or distribute shares.
Government versus non-government organisations
A government organisation which delivers community services has to be established and
operated through a government-decreed legal structure. Normally, these organisations are
referred to as „agencies‟. Most community health and welfare/social services are delivered by
state agencies, operating under a specific Act of state parliament. For example, in Queensland
the Child Safety Services Agency is within the Department of Communities, Child Safety and
Disability Services. The Queensland Child Protection Act 1999 sets the guidelines and rules
under which everyone working within this government agency operates.
By contrast, non-government organisations develop their own mission goals and vision
statements, and its members are responsible to their own management hierarchies, usually
headed by boards of directors or management committees in not-for-profits, or managers and
owners in for-profits. However, many services which non-government organisations deliver
are funded under a government program, so the workers are required to structure services
according to the legislation that provides the legal framework for the implementation of that
program. For example, although the Queensland Child Safety Services Agency mentioned
above delivers many services directly to clients, it also subcontracts much of service delivery
to non-government (largely not-for-profit) organisations. These organisations need then to
Week 3: Organisations: government and non-government
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
operate service delivery as required by the provisions listed in the Queensland Child
Protection Act 1999.
The organisational settings of community work
Taking note of the discussion on organisations so far, we can now look at which
organisations community workers are employed in. These include,

Government agencies (e.g., child protection, public hospitals)

Quasi-government organisations (e.g., universities and TAFEs)

Non-government organisations:
o For profit (e.g., employment agencies, training firms, aged care)
o Non-profit (e.g., aged care, child care, housing)
Management and governance
Community workers often engage with management, and need to be aware of governance law
(especially in non-government organisations). Some of the activities undertaken within
organisations by community workers may include,

Participate in management meetings. Workers should have knowledge of procedures,
such as formal management meetings, and they should acquire presentation skills
appropriate for specific settings, such as management and brainstorming meetings.

Advice on governance matters. Workers should understand the organisation‟s
policies, and the governance system under which the organisation functions.
Community workers should have an awareness of relevant governance law, e.g.,
Corporation Act 2001 (Cth) and equivalent state legislation.

Work with volunteers. Workers need skills in coordinating, training, working with
and in supervising volunteers. Volunteers are normally viewed and treated as
employees, and therefore all policies and legal requirements which apply to
employees also apply for volunteers.

Supervise other staff. Community workers are often called to supervise other staff in
the organisation, so they require leadership skills.
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Introduction to community services

Manage services. Community workers are often in charge of whole, or components
of, program implementation. For this they require knowledge of program management
and implementation, and of program evaluation.

Work with contractors. Community workers often arrange for services to their clients
from a variety of external suppliers. For example, when working with disabled people
who are being cared for in their own homes, community workers may need to arrange
for home repairs or modifications that aid to mobility and help with independent
living.

OHS regulations. Occupation Health and Safety is an important aspect of working in
organisations. Community workers should have at least a basic understanding of
current OHS government regulations and the organisation‟s OHS policy. All
employees normally have a legal duty of care to ensure safety for themselves,
colleagues and their clients.
References
Chenoweth, L. & McAuliffe, D. (2015). The road to social work & human service practice
(4th ed.). Melbourne: Cengage Learning.
Liddell, M. (2003). Developing human services organisations. Pearson Education: Frenchs
Forest, NSW.
McDonald, C., Craik, C., Hawkins, L. & Williams, J. (2011). Professional practice in human
service organisations. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.
Productivity Commission (2010). Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector (January 29,
2010). Productivity Commission 2010 Research Report. Available at SSRN:
http://ssrn.com/abstract=1586630
Activity 3.1
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Week 3: Organisations: government and non-government
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Introduction to community services
Activity 3.2
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Activity 3.3
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Activity 3.4
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Extension readings and resources
Report by the Charities and not-for-profits commission (2013): „Not-for-profit reform and the
Australian Government‟
http://www.acnc.gov.au/ACNC/Pblctns/Rpts/NFP/ACNC/Publications/Reports/NFPreport.as
px?hkey=416871fb-2d45-46fd-900a-aef151e3c88c Provides an overview of the Australian
Government’s not-for-profit reform agenda and the regulatory environment in which charities
operate.
The website of the Australian Council of Social Services provides great resources on nongovernment community service organisations
http://www.acoss.org.au/policy/community_services/
Furman (2013) „Getting to know the human service organization‟ chapter 1 from Navigating
human service organizations http://www.acoss.org.au/policy/community_services/
Community Services Sector Industry Skills and Workforce Development Report (2012), by
the health & Community Service Workforce Council
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Introduction to community services
https://www.workforce.org.au/media/255522/wfc-industry-skills-report-community-servicessector-2012-09-24.pdf This report summarises information related to the Queensland
Community Services sector, but also provides some general information on the sector
Australia-wide.
Now that you have completed this week, visit the learning portal to participate in the latest
discussion forum and to check your progress by completing the self-check questions.
Week 3: Organisations: government and non-government
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Week 4
Funding models, accountability, reporting, program
evaluation
Week 4: Funding models, accountability, reporting, program evaluation
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Week 4: Funding models, accountability, reporting,
program evaluation
Week overview
This section discusses funding models, focusing on the implications they have on service
delivery and frameworks for professional work in community services. The roles of the
community worker as grant application writer, program manager and coordinator, and
program evaluator are outlined. The concept of evidence-based practice is explored.
Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, you should be able to:

List funding models for community services.

Describe the roles which a community worker may undertake within funding
application processes.

Describe the roles which a community worker may undertake in program
management and evaluation.
Prescribed textbook reading
Chapter 5, pp. 126–149 from Chenoweth, L. & McAuliffe, D. (2015). The road to social
work & human service practice (4th ed.). Melbourne: Cengage Learning.
Chapter 4, pp. 56-59 & 68-91 from McDonald, C., Craik, C., Hawkins, L. & Williams, J.
(2011). Professional practice in human service organisations. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.
Week 4: Funding models, accountability, reporting, program evaluation
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Introduction to community services
Community services funding
Community services are funded by a variety of sources. Government services operate within
budgets allocated by federal and state governments. Non-government organisations, however,
must source funding from external sources. Much of the funding comes from government
programs which fund services delivered through non-government organisations. Other
funding may be sourced from philanthropic organisations, or from large businesses which run
their own programs of funding community services as part of their corporate citizenship
responsibilities. The majority of community services funding for non-government
organisations is provided through government initiatives and programs.
Examples of such programs include: community aged care, child care services, community
health prevention programs, community support for people living with a disability,
community mental health services for people living in rural and regional area, support for
victims of domestic violence, and so on. A community services worker may occupy any of a
number of roles which are directly relevant to the funding of services in her or his
organisation. These include:

Grant application writer.

Program manager or coordinator.

Responsibility for program evaluation and monitoring.

Responsibility for reporting to the funding agency.
When responsible for fund raising, the community worker employs his or her training to
assess sources for funding, and develops plans to access funding that are viable. An
understanding of the different models to fund community services is essential; so that funding
applications are strategically developed to address the aims of the funding agency while at the
same time fulfil the aims and mission of his or her organisation
Funding models
Week 4: Funding models, accountability, reporting, program evaluation
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Introduction to community services
With the advent of neo-liberal ideology, public funding has become increasingly subject to
market principles. In order to access much of this funding, non-government organisations are
required to work within a competitive model of funding, where they must demonstrate not
only capacity, but also efficiency in how funding is to be used. This model further sets
community organisations against each other, as they each strive to streamline services and try
to do more with less in order to remain competitive in their bidding for a limited pool of
funding. The neo-liberal model imposes a contractual model for funding, which may
challenge the organisation‟s values and the worker‟s professional standards of practice.
Since community workers are guided by a commitment to provide services which address the
clients‟ needs regardless of their situation, processes which use contractual arrangements
often clash with this commitment. The neo-liberal policy language includes terminology such
as „participation‟, „contributions‟, „deserving‟ and „mutuality‟. Such language indicates that
access to services is conditional, and that recipients of services are expected to reciprocate in
some manner, almost as if a person who consumes publicly-funded services has
automatically agreed to a contractual arrangement. For example, in the Community Aged
Care program, informal carers of frail elderly persons are expected to consent to contractual
arrangements before they receive any services funded under this program. Their obligations
must be outlined in care „plans‟ which are „negotiated‟ between the elderly person, informal
carers and the service provider organisation. These plans outline the services which the
informal carer is then expected to provide, and the precise types of services that will be
delivered by the provider organisation (this may include the times the services will be
delivered, the cost of the service to the carer and client, and when the formal delivery of the
service will end). This process is imposed, and the organisation must adhere to, as a
condition of funding.
The neo-liberal model of funding also clashes with the ethos of many community service
organisations and workers because one of the principal aims in this model is to increase
economic efficiency in how public funding is spent. As such, it aims to cut down the cost of
services and increase efficiency and savings. However, community workers tend to focus
more on „doing‟ rather than achieving savings. On the one hand, bureaucrats and politicians,
who often make funding decisions, want more efficient and productive processes as a
condition for funding, whereas on the other hand community/human service professionals
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Introduction to community services
deliver services in a way that addresses needs in a complex social system. This can be seen as
“messy” and inefficient to outsiders.
Another model of funding is sometimes referred to as the „corporate community partnership‟.
This is a mixed funding model. At one end of this model there is a purely philanthropic
relationship where a corporate business simply donates a sum of money to a community
organisation, as a means to strengthen its reputation as a good corporate citizen. In other
instances, one or more corporations set up trust-like foundations which distributes funds to
community organisations according to certain aims – for example, a fund may be set up to
contribute to maternal services for people living in rural areas. At the other extreme, some
corporations want to „partner‟ with community organisations as a condition for funding.
Some may even require their employees to contribute to the delivery of services. Most of
these contributors hope to derive reputation, marketing benefits and good will as a
consequence of funding services. For this reason they generally view their contributions as
„investments‟.
Yet one other model for funding services is community fund raising. This model uses the
organisation‟s reputation to publicise their need for funding to the community. The
organisation may facilitate regular fund-raising activities and seek regular donations from
individuals and local businesses. Many community organisations use this model of funding as
part of their overall funding strategy. However, there are relatively few organisations which
can survive entirely on fund-raising. Yet some other organisations are set up to mainly raise
funds which they distribute to other community organisations. Some of these organisations
are very large, for example The Lions Club.
Writing applications for service funding
Week 4: Funding models, accountability, reporting, program evaluation
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Introduction to community services
A community worker tasked with writing funding applications uses a number of skills and
requires knowledge of the various funding models. To be successful, he or she needs to do
the following:

Develop an application which matches the aims and purposes for which the funding
agency provides the funding.

Understand the motivation for funding. If the funding agency is a government
department, for instance, the worker would be familiar with the social policy under
which the program is funded. Conversely, if the funding is provided by a corporate
business as part of a community grant, the worker would aim to become familiar with
that business‟s motivation – for example, it may seek to increase its visibility in the
community.

Use social research skills so that he or she can collect good quality and convincing
information with which to support the application.

Develop a realistic and appropriate budget proposal. Here the worker may need to
liaise with a financial professional.

Employ facilitation and networking skills to inform stakeholders and obtain their
support.

Use good writing skills to addresses the guidelines set by the funding agency for the
grant application.

Maintain open communication at all stages of the application process to keep active
the interest and involvement of all stakeholders.
Textbook reading
Read Chapter 4, pp. 68-91 from McDonald et al (2011).
Some of the material in this reading may seem marginal to this week‟s topic, but is
nevertheless valuable because it refers to knowledge and skills which are used in report
writing, submission writing and evaluation. For instance, a capacity to take, organise and
interpret notes is important for obtaining information to back up reports and grant
submissions.
Activity 4.1
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Week 4: Funding models, accountability, reporting, program evaluation
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Activity 4.2
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Program management
Once a program of services is funded, a community worker may be tasked with managing it.
This involves coordinating of service delivery, developing and implementing accountability
and reporting processes and program and service evaluation. This requires a number of skills,
including:

Team leadership. In the delivery of services, the worker may be required to direct
colleagues, and develop processes and service-related activities, such as training.

Reporting and presentation skills. The worker will need to provide regular updates
and reports to stakeholders within the organisation, such as the management
committee, and to the external funding agency.

Ensuring accountability is maintained. This requires that the program is monitored to
see whether services are achieving the purpose and aims for which they have been
funded, whether the program is delivered within the planned timeframe, and keeping
track of budgets and other resources. The worker requires effective planning and time
management, and a capacity to oversee a number of processes at the same time. He or
she also requires an understanding of how information management systems work
within the context of an organisation (McDonald, Craik, Hawkins and Williams 2011,
p.96).

Program evaluation. This requires social research skills and familiarity with a range of
social research methods.
Evidence-based practice and program evaluation
In their practice, the community worker draws on a large body of knowledge acquired by the
social sciences. This includes theories and conceptual explanations, and also methodologies
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Introduction to community services
for researching social and behavioural contexts. In modern community and human services,
much of the workers‟ practice framework is informed by evidence. This is referred to as
evidence-based practice. Workers have an understanding of what objective evidence is, and
how to employ such evidence to inform decision-making and service delivery. Evidencebased practice is a systematic approach to obtaining and using objective knowledge to
improve the quality and effectiveness of services. It consists of five steps: ask, find, appraise,
act, evaluate. The first three steps reflect most social scientific methodologies, in which the
researcher asks a research question (e.g., what is the issue here?), finds existing information
that can provide at least a partial answer and appraises the evidence obtained from asking the
question. The other two steps are specific to practice contexts because the evidence informs
service delivery (the fourth step) while the last step evaluates the impact of this.
Likewise, in program evaluation, community workers employ social research methods.
Program evaluation may be undertaken for a number of reasons. One reason is to address
reporting requirements of the funding agency. The other is to inform decision-making
processes internal to the organisation. One other reason is to provide ongoing information, as
part of an evidence-based approach to service delivery. Although it uses social research
methodology, evaluative research differs from pure social research in one important respect.
This is the way in which results are interpreted. Where in pure or academic social research
results are simply presented or used to describe some social or behavioural phenomenon, in
evaluative research the results are used to compare whether a particular goal or target has
been reached. This means that often the program‟s success may be estimated according to a
value judgement. For example, a program may have invested a large sum of money to
provide rehabilitation services for drug addiction and has a measured success rate of ten per
cent; this then may be seen as a good rate of success by the funders and service providers
because previous programs had only one or two per cent success rates.
Textbook reading
Read Chapter 5, pp. 126–149 from Chenoweth & McAuliffe (2015).
Week 4: Funding models, accountability, reporting, program evaluation
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
This reading outlines some important concepts which refer to the knowledge base of
community service workers. Beginning with the very idea of „knowledge‟, the chapter
provides an introduction to the philosophical and methodological bases for evidence-based
practice.
References
Chenoweth, L. & McAuliffe, D. (2015). The road to social work & human service practice
(4th ed.). Melbourne: Cengage Learning.
McDonald, C., Craik, C., Hawkins, L. & Williams, J. (2011). Professional practice in human
service organisations. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.
Activity 4.3
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Activity 4.4
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Extension readings and resources
A sometimes theoretical paper on program planning and evaluation by Suzanne BeattieJohnson (2009) published in the online journal of the Australian Community Workers
Association, Practice Reflexions:
http://www.acwa.org.au/resources/Practice%20Reflexions%20Volume%204/Research%20Pu
blication-30.pdf
Week 4: Funding models, accountability, reporting, program evaluation
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Introduction to community services
A state government (NSW) policy document on funding services. This document provides
some actual examples of the kind of conditions attached to funding of non-government
organisations by government agencies, as well as principles of monitoring service delivery.
See for instance performance based contracting, monitoring conditions, results-based
accountability, and so on
http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/docswr/_assets/main/documents/funding_policy.pdf
This is another example of a document from a state government agency (Queensland
Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, 2013) which outlines
conditions for funding of non-government organisations. See particularly the selection
criteria. http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/resources/funding/fundingavailable/procurement-information-paper.pdf
Paper by Greg Fowler (n.d.) on evidence-based practice. See especially the online resources
provided at the end of the paper
http://nceta.flinders.edu.au/files/6412/5548/1450/EN53%20.pdf
Now that you have completed this week, visit the learning portal to participate in the latest
discussion forum and to check your progress by completing the self-check questions.
Week 4: Funding models, accountability, reporting, program evaluation
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Week 5
Working in the community services sector.
Intersecting models for practice
Week 5: Working in the community services sector
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Week 5: Working in the community services sector.
Intersecting models for practice
Week overview
This section further explores the variety of roles which a professional community worker
may undertake. Practice frameworks are mapped using a two-level model to explain the
knowledge and skills required to work in the sector: knowledge and skills generic to most
community workers, and specialised knowledge and skills employed by workers in specific
fields of practice. A brief exploration of community/human service frameworks from the
perspective of professional values is included. Two case studies which demonstrate the use of
specialist knowledge and skills in practice are provided.
Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, you should be able to:
Explain the difference between generalist and specialist practice frameworks.
List common knowledge and skills required by all community workers.
Explain what a specialist framework for practice is.
Prescribed textbook reading
Chapter 1, pp. 18–27 from Chenoweth, L. & McAuliffe, D. (2015). The road to social work
& human service practice (4th ed.). Melbourne: Cengage Learning.
Chapter 1, pp. 11-24 from McDonald, C., Craik, C., Hawkins, L. & Williams, J. (2011).
Professional practice in human service organisations. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.
Week 5: Working in the community services sector
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Working in the community services sector. Intersecting models for practice
As discussed in Section 1, community workers practice in a diverse range of fields.
Regardless of the field they work in, the cornerstone of community work is promoting
social justice and maximising human potential. The peak professional body for
community workers in Australia define what community workers do in this way:
…community workers provide services, support, activities, information and referral
for those in need of assistance. They do this by linking people with appropriate
services, government departments, groups, communities and each other (Australian
Community Workers Association 2014, online).
Chenoweth & McAuliffe (2015, p. 16) provide a philosophical explanation for the ‘purpose’
of human service practice:
To position human welfare and human rights as a primary social responsibility,
acknowledging that humanity exists in balance with the environment, and to celebrate
and acknowledge the diversity of humanity … practitioners are charged with the
responsibility of bringing to public notice the values, attitudes, behaviours and social
structures, as well as the economic and political imperatives, that cause or contribute
to the oppression of human welfare and rights. They are further charged with the duty
to respond with passion, hope and care, to human need wherever and however it is
manifested …
Most workers specialise in a particular area of work. Chenoweth & McAuliffe (2015, Ch 6)
provide a few ways to categorise the practice fields, and then use and expand upon the
following categorisation:
The health sector
Mental health
Child protection and juvenile justice
The disability field
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Introduction to community services
Working with older adults
Rural and remote practice
Income security and employment services
Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
Youth work
Responding to disasters
This is not a comprehensive list (for example, community development, work with people
from culturally diverse backgrounds, housing and the homeless, domestic violence,
correctional services, and other fields are not included); however it does provide an indication
of the diversity of the fields of practice in community or human services.
To work in any of these areas the community worker requires specialist skills and training.
Chenoweth & McAuliffe (2015) enumerate some of the specialist skills for each of the listed
fields of practice in their text. However, all community workers also require generalist
practice knowledge and skills. For example, a youth worker is likely to need specialist
training in order to work effectively with young people. However, teenagers and youth are
embedded in all sorts of social contexts, so the worker needs at least basic skills in working
within those contexts as well. For instance, the youth worker may need to liaise with families,
school communities, community groups, other services, and with government agencies. In
other words, apart from their specialist training, the community youth worker also draws on
and employs generalist practice skills and knowledge to support the young people within four
social domains: individuals, families, groups and communities. Chenoweth & McAuliffe
(2015, pp. 21–24) list four other domains of practice: social policy, research, management
and education/training. Generalist practice is informed by knowledge, skills and wisdom to
practice in all of these domains, with the first four being more prominent. It is important to
note that even though it is possible to look at these areas separately, as we do further on in
this course, in practice they are interdependent.
Week 5: Working in the community services sector
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Introduction to community services
Much of the body of generalist knowledge upon which the community worker draws is
informed by a range of social sciences, including sociology, psychology, anthropology,
political science and economics. These provide conceptual and theoretical explanations of
how social groups function, the role of culture in shaping values and norms, individual
behaviour, social institutions, social power, ideology, ideas of justice, citizenship and rights,
and so on. This knowledge base also informs the theories used in human services. Lastly,
community service workers draw on a framework of professional ethics to inform their
practice. In human services, the use of self is integral to how a worker practices. Professional
ethical standards balance personal values and inform action in respect to ethical issues which
arise in the course of one’s work.
Practice frameworks
To summarise, for a community service worker a practice framework refers to the values,
knowledge and skills on which he or she draws to work effectively and professionally with
her or his clients. This framework includes:
Professional values – e.g., social justice and human rights, dignity, individual worth
(normally expressed within a professional Code of Ethics),
Personal perspectives – e.g., values respect, religious beliefs, tolerance,
Knowledge of how social structures are formed and maintained, and of individual
behaviour – e.g., understands and uses conceptual frameworks (theories) to explain
and work effectively within social structures (such as culture, political and legal
structures, class, gender, inequality); understands and uses theories of the human lifecycle and behaviour (such as when it is relevant to child development, deviance,
domestic violence, [un]employment),
Skills for working with individuals, groups and communities – e.g., communication and
counselling micro-skills, assessment of needs, evaluation of service delivery, research
of social issues and needs.
Cultural competence – this means knowledge and skills to work with individuals, groups
and communities from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Week 5: Working in the community services sector
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Capacity to reflect effectively on one’s own practice. This is referred to as reflexive
practice, which is the capacity to self-assess with a degree of objectivity what one
does in their practice.
Advocacy skills. This refers to knowledge and skills in how to represent and speak for
individuals and communities, how to network effectively, and how to practice
community development principles so that clients are empowered.
Skills for working within organisational/institutional and legal/statutory contexts – e.g.,
policy making and analysis, writing reports for courts, making assessments for
statutory protection (such as in child protection or family violence).
A professional practice framework is, therefore, a ‘toolbox’ of knowledge and skills which
the worker uses in their work with clients. And just like with any toolbox, existing tools are
checked and serviced and new tools are added as required by the work for which it is used.
Workers need to constantly engage and update themselves with knowledge and skills for
practice as appropriate to the contexts they work in (Kennedy and Richards 2007, p.36). This
includes a capacity to acquire new skills and knowledge as the worker moves between
different areas of practice – this is just as important as any of the other skills or knowledge
the worker might employ in their practice (Braye and Preston-Shoot, 2006). For instance,
when a worker begins practice in the field of domestic violence for the first time, they would
need to update themselves and train wherever necessary to acquire the knowledge and skills
to work within a statutory system. Unless a worker understands well the legal rights of, and
recourses available to, a victim of domestic violence, the relevant jurisdictional system, and
their legal obligations as a worker in this area of practice, she or he would be unable to work
effectively with the client, regardless of their other skills and knowledge.
Reading 5.1
Access the following reading via the learning portal.
Harms, L. (2007). Working with people: Communication skills for reflective practice. Sth
Melbourne: Oxford University Press. (pp. 11-25).
Practice values
Week 5: Working in the community services sector
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Introduction to community services
Another perspective on practice models is the values base held by professional community
workers. After reading the extract from Harms (2007), you should have the capacity to
explain the following five practice values:
respecting the human person
promoting social justice
right to self-determination
empowerment and autonomy
being authentic
Practice approaches
Community workers share particular theoretical and conceptual approaches which shape and
inform their practice. Most workers prefer specific approaches, and can be quite critical of
others. Regardless of the approach(es) used, however, it is important to understand the
principles and logic behind each of the main approaches used in human/community services
because workers often work in teams, where workers may use different approaches, or
collaborate with workers from other agencies (as in community care case management) who
are likely to use different approaches. The main approaches draw on various theories of
social and individual behaviour. Some examples include,
System and ecological perspectives. These tend to have a holistic approach, which focus
on the social environment of the individuals and groups they work with.
Cognitive approaches. This draws from psychological theories of individual behaviour,
focusing on learning patterns and methods of conditioning and re-enforcing positive
behaviour in individuals.
Radical approaches. These focus on wider societal structures, such as gender, class and
race and attempt to change them wherever they build oppressive and unjust systems.
Radical feminism is an example of a radical approach.
Humanist existential approaches. These are person-centred approaches which highlight
the ability of individuals and groups to control their own lives, and focus on
facilitating processes which lead to self-determination.
Week 5: Working in the community services sector
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Introduction to community services
Psychodynamic work. This is a psychological approach, which helps individuals deal
with mental health and emotional issues.
Strengths perspectives. These approaches focus on people’s capacities (strengths) and
build and develop these by linking to appropriate resources.
Chenoweth & McAuliffe (2015, pp. 149–154)
Reading 5.2
Access the following reading online.
Hunter, E., Onnis, L-A., Santhanam-Martin, R., Skalicky, J., Gynther, B. & Dyer, G. (2013).
Beasts of burden or organised cooperation: the story of a mental health team in remote,
Indigenous Australia. Australasian Psychiatry, 21: 572 (available at:
http://apy.sagepub.com/content/21/6/572)
This article outlines the experiences of a team of community workers in Indigenous remote
mental health practice. The authors outline some of the skills used in their practices, which
include both general practice and specialist community service skills. This is also background
reading for Activity 6.1.
Activity 5.1
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Textbook reading
McDonald, C., Craik, C., Hawkins, L. & Williams, J. (2011). Professional practice in human
service organisations. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin. (pp.135-139).
This section, ‘Working with interpreters’, in McDonald et al (2011) provides an example of
specific knowledge and skills in community work. This is also background reading for
Activity 6.2.
Week 5: Working in the community services sector
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Activity 5.2
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
References
Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA) (2014). Who is a community worker?
(accessed 21-02-2014) http://www.acwa.org.au/membership/who-is-a-community-worker
Braye, S. & Preston-Shoot, M. (2006). The role of law in welfare reform: critical perspectives
on the relationship between law and social work practice”. International Journal of Social
Welfare, 15:19-26.
Chenoweth, L. & McAuliffe, D. (2015). The road to social work & human service practice
(4th ed.). Melbourne: Cengage Learning.
Harms, L. (2007). Working with people: Communication skills for reflective practice. Sth
Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Kennedy, R, & Richards, J. (2007). Integrating human service law & practice (2nd ed.). Sth
Melbourne : Oxford University Press.
McDonald, C., Craik, C., Hawkins, L. & Williams, J. (2011). Professional practice in human
service organisations. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.
Activity 5.3
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Week 5: Working in the community services sector
WEL101A
Introduction to community services
Activity 5.4
Please refer to the Learning Portal for this activity.
Extension readings and resources
Paper by Audrey Matthews (2008) ‘Developing a practice framework’, published in the
online journal of the Australian Community Workers Association, Practice Refelexions:
http://www.acwa.org.au/resources/Practice%20Reflexions%20Volume%203/Research%20Pu
blication-23.pdf
The Practice Standards of the Australian Association of Social Workers (2013)
http://www.aasw.asn.au/document/item/4551
The Australian Community Workers Association’s Core competencies of a community work
practitioner http://www.acwa.org.au/about/core-competencies
An example from a government organisation of what is expected of workers in terms of their
professional practice framework: Integrating and understanding the practice framework
(Queensland Government 2013) http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/childsafety/child-safetypractice-manual/practice-framework-and-maps/integrating-and-understanding-the-practiceframework
Now that you have completed this week, visit the learning portal to participate in the latest
discussion forum and to check your progress by completing the self-check questions.
Week 5: Working in the community services sector

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