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The professional human service role requires practitioners to demonstrate proficiency in applying relevant knowledge and skills in complex situations. In order to integrate and contextualise the theoretical knowledge you have obtained thus far in your human services course, you are required to undertake work integrated learning (WIL) where you will demonstrate satisfactory achievement of the Australian Community Welfare Association's seven core competencies. This introductory practice unit encompasses 200 hours of direct practice within one human services agency. The placement provides the beginning practitioner with opportunities to assess firsthand the manner in which human service practitioners implement strategies to assist service users.
The professional human service role requires practitioners to demonstrate proficiency in applying relevant knowledge and skills in complex situations. In order to integrate and contextualise the theoretical knowledge you have obtained thus far in your human services course, you are required to undertake work integrated learning (WIL) where you will demonstrate satisfactory achievement of the Australian Community Welfare Association's seven core competencies. This introductory practice unit encompasses 200 hours of direct practice within one human services agency. The placement provides the beginning practitioner with opportunities to assess firsthand the manner in which human service practitioners implement strategies to assist service users. You can examine the influences of practice methods, clients, staff, organisational, cultural and community factors on program and intervention processes and outcomes. You will undertake tasks and responsibilities of a student practitioner under the guidance and direction of an agency supervisor.
This is a designated unit. Designated units include professional experience units, units requiring the development of particular skills, and units requiring demonstration of certain personal qualities, and are deemed to be critical to progress in your course. Students who receive two fail grades in a designated unit will receive an unsatisfactory academic performance notice and could be excluded from the course. Supplementary assessment is not available on designated units.
This unit aims to provide you with introductory real world experiences of the organisational context of human service practice and allow you to demonstrate appropriate and ethical application of relevant professional knowledge and skills while undertaking a variety of professional roles, tasks and responsibilities under direction of an agency supervisor.
You will initially engage with and develop an introductory level of achievement in the five core professional practice competencies as required by the ACWA human service practice standards. The placement experience entails exposure to organisational practices and processes, service user issues and professional practice frameworks.
You are required to hold a valid Blue Card (Working with Children Check) and provide evidence of Hepatitis B immunity, along with other required immunisations, before commencing placement in QHealth and hospital placements.
The placement opportunity is guided by the development of a comprehensive Professional Learning Plan (LP) that specifies learning goals and tasks consistent with the ACWA core competencies, in consultation with your agency supervisor and university liaison staff.
The unit consists of:
· Pre and during placement compulsory integration workshops that prepare you for placement and provide opportunities for ongoing support, assistance and direction in the student's learning.
· Two agency liaison visits by a member of the university staff and regular contact to provide support in the filed context to both student and supervisor; and
· Peer support, both informal as directed by the student, and formal as part of the university workshop activities.
During the 200 hours of work integrated learning you will also be provided opportunities to analyse and reflect on intervention methods and organisational processes while also considering your own personal suitability for human service practice. You will also be supported to contextualise the learning achieved thus far in the human service degree. Underpinning student placement is the development and analysis of a Learning Plan (LP) to assist you to achieve your learning goals.
· The placement unit focuses on integrating the practice and theoretical aspects of the Human Service degree, providing you with the opportunity to observe and experience the nature and scope of human service practice.
· You will undertake experiential learning strategies in your agency setting in conjunction with the four interactive workshops that you must attend. This unit is taught under a blended learning approach whereby you will access a range of learning materials via Blackboard including lecture notes, podcasts and readings. Discussion boards will enable you to share your placement experiences and learnings with your peers. Workshops will provide hands-on interactive activities aimed at gaining practical and real-life work-related skills, beneficial to human service practice.
You must enrol in the unit and attend a planning/preparation workshop and pre placement interviews approximately five months prior to the commencement of placement. You are emailed information about an information workshop and interview dates and must comply with the process to ensure the university is able to secure you an appropriate agency. This process has been established to enable sufficient time to organise a suitable placement to meet the needs of each student.
QUT is committed to maintaining high academic standards to protect the value of its qualifications. To assist you in assuring the academic integrity of your assessment you are encouraged to make use of the support materials and services available to help you consider and check your assessment items. Important information about the university's approach to academic integrity of assessment is on your unit Blackboard site.
A breach of academic integrity is regarded as Student Misconduct and can lead to the imposition of penalties.
Cleak, H.& Wilson, J.(2013).
Making the most of field placement (3rd edition).South Melbourne: Cengage Learning
O'Hara, A., & Weber, Z. (2006).
Skills for human service practice. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Chenoweth, L.and McAuliffe, D. (2012).
The Road to Social Work and Human Service Practice (2nd edition). South Melbourne: Cengage Learning
An extensive list of resources will also be available on the Blackboard site.
Human Services practice does bring with it an element of risk. Students will gain knowledge of workplace health and safety during pre-placement workshops and prior to entering the practice field, and will undertake an agency risk management process on commencement of their placement. This will provide clarity and strategies in terms of addressing risk issues.