About the course
If you like working with people singly or in groups, problem solving and looking at social issues and how they affect communities, then social welfare could be the career for you.
Where it will take you
Social welfare graduates work at the interface between people and their environments, focusing on experiences of individuals, families, groups and communities. Graduates work professionally in government departments, charities and other non-government agencies within all social service areas. They can be found in positions that involve coordinating or managing social service delivery, developing and implementing policies and programs, developing local community social plans, working with self help or support groups, and conducting social casework with individuals and families.
Some fields of practice are:
* child and adolescent welfare and family support
* community care of people who are ageing or who have a disability
* labour market and retraining programs
* supported accommodation
* community and mental health services
* migrant support
* neighbourhood and local government services
* drug, alcohol and gambling rehabilitation
* youth justice and other justice programs
The specialised Bachelor of Social Science (Social Welfare) Juvenile Justice includes subjects in justice studies and juvenile justice practice relevant to practice with young people in conflict with the law.
Professionals teaching you
The course is taught by academic staff in Social Work and Human Services and the foundation disciplines of Psychology, Sociology, as well as practitioners with a wide range of industry experience who are field education supervisors.
A specialisation in juvenile justice is also taught by academics in Justice Studies and professionals with practice experience in juvenile justice.
Your course is recognised by industry
The Bachelor of Social Science (Social Welfare) is widely recognised as a base grade qualification for employment with many human service providing agencies within Australian Commonwealth, State and Territory governments as well as non-government charities and private service providers.
There are two pathways into the course. TAFE Diploma graduates in Community Welfare are eligible for the TAFE pathway, a three year part-time (equivalent to 18 months full-time) course through which they build on their prior study to gain a university degree. The quicker TAFE pathway is ideal for students whose employment preferences do not require their eligibility for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) upon graduation.
Students who enrol in the full course that involves six years of part-time study (equivalent to three years full-time) retain the choice of continuing to the four year full-time equivalent AASW accredited Bachelor of Social Work. A juvenile justice specialisation also aligns with the Bachelor of Social Work, enabling transfer into the AASW accredited course at an early stage.
A compulsory requirement is the completion of 400 hours (12 weeks) of supervised professional field education in a practice context. In this way students strengthen their ability to apply their subject learning to practice in a service agency context. TAFE pathway students who have satisfied this requirement in the Diploma of Community Welfare are not required to repeat this experience.
Educational partners in supervising professional field eduction are practitioners with experience in positions at various levels and diverse fields of practice.
Bachelor of Social Science (Social Welfare) general strand
Bachelor of Social Science (Social Welfare) Juvenile Justice
Applicants can request consideration of credit for studies undertaken elsewhere, providing these studies have currency and are evidenced by a certified university or TAFE transcript.
In the general strand, students of the TAFE pathway are granted the maximum credit of 12 x 8 point subjects. The abridged course of study comprises 12 x 8 point subjects, all in distance education mode with no residential school or professional field education requirement. The prescribed subjects include psychology, sociology, politics and social policy, as well as social welfare law, ethics and research methods. Students receive teaching and learning materials and electronic access through which they communicate with other students and lecturers.
What is the difference between the Social Work and Social Welfare degrees?
Both degrees are recognised for various positions of employment within Commonwealth, State, Territory and Local governments as well as non-government social service agencies. Some job advertisements require applicants to be eligible for membership of the AASW. Examples might be positions that have a clinical or supervisory responsibility.
The Bachelor of Social Work is a four-year full-time equivalent course of study which meets the mandatory accreditation requirements, to allow registration with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). The Bachelor of Social Science (Social Welfare) has no mandatory course accreditation requirements.
The major differences between the two courses of study concern the required classroom participation and the duration and supervision requirements of the professional field education component. AASW requirements are that Social Work students must complete a proportion of their study by classrooom attendance as well as 980 hours of professional field education under the supervision of an AASW accredited Social Work practitioner.
At CSU the full Bachelor of Social Science (Social Welfare) course of study comprises the first two years of the Bachelor of Social Work. This enables students enrolled in either course to reconsider whether to exit with the Social Welfare degree or to continue the full Social Work course that will make them eligible for membership of the AASW.
The full course has a compulsory residential school requirement for each of the three Social Work Theory and Practice subjects HCS206, HCS207 and HCS304, unless approval is granted for a replacement subject. Residentials require five days attendance at Wagga Wagga campus.
There is no residential school requirement for students enrolled in the TAFE pathway.
To graduate, students must satisfactorily complete 192 points (normally equal to 24 subjects).
Students who complete either the full course of study or the TAFE pathway of the Bachelor of Social Science (Social Welfare) can continue their studies by seeking entry into Master level programs, a few of which are:
* Master of Social Science (Addiction Studies)
* Master of Child and Adolescent Welfare
* Master of Human Services Management and Policy