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This unit recognizes the importance of political and economic factors for professional practitioners in the human service and social welfare sector. It describes and analyses the fundamentals of the Australian political system including the Parliamentary structures and law making processes at different levels of government. It explores the 'real politik' of political parties and vested interest groups in the political process giving particular attention to the development of policy. It provides an overview of public sector policy making process including the budgetary procedure. The unit encourages students to be active actors in relevant political/economic processes.
As a social worker it is critical to have a thorough appreciation of the forces which influence and change society and therein shape professional practice and the policy environment. This unit collects and analyses data on contemporary Australian political and economic systems, and international comparative exemplars. It links political and economic forces to challenges in social work policy related to disadvantage, marginalization, exclusion and discrimination and core practice values including respect for human rights, human dignity and social justice. It positions the student of social work as a committed scholar who draws on an evidence base to inform practice and their active engagement in broad political, economic and policy debates, which impact on the wellbeing of individuals, families, groups and communities.
This unit requires evaluation of existing literature to immerse students in a sociological and narrative analysis at the macro level of Australian political, economic and policy systems, the structure and processes of government, the nature of the political policy process, as evidence in advocacy for social change.
Completion of this unit requires you to provide evidence of having achieved the following learning outcomes:
1. Critically analyse the foundation, principles and processes of the Australian political welfare and governmental systems;
2. Scrutinize the relevance of Federal and State government political and budgetary process for social work practice;
3. Interrogate the relationship between significant vested interest groups and government decision making;
4. Apply high level research, analytical and collaborative skills to a contemporary policy issue;
5. Apply policy writing skills in preparing a written submission.
AASW Education and Accreditation Standards: 3.3.1; 3.3.3; 3.3.4; 3.3.5; 3.3.7; 3.3.8
AASW Practice Standards for Social Workers: 1.2; 2.1; 4.1; 4.2; 4.3; 4.4; 5.1; 5.3; 5.4; 6.4;
The unit facilitates knowledge of the Code of Ethics into Social Work practice.
The unit uses prescribed methodologies to analyse information on the following areas:
· the political, economic and social history of the Australian and European and other welfare states;
· foundation, structure, processes, and principles of government;
· social workers in social policy and as activists;
· economics and budgets;
· challenging key economic paradigms;
· public sector economics, government and markets;
· applying practice- based research to political, economic and social policy formation and the underpinning evidence base; and
· communication of findings.
Your knowledge and skills of research methodology will support your professional writing skills, in accordance with accepted standards of scholarship, style and presentation as you investigate your defined area of research. You will construct emergent knowledge and ask rigorous, researchable questions from narrative analysis, discussions with your peers and lecturer in dynamic workshops and lectures, and relating current trends and issues and practices as seen in placement and present in global issues in media.
The unit integrates on-line,Blackboard resources and on campus workshops to support the communicating and interrogation of emerging new knowledge and identified gaps in current knowledge.
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.
McClelland, A. and Smyth, P. (2014) Social Policy in Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press
Bauman, Z., & Lyon, D. (2013). Liquid surveillance. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Brodkin, J. & Marston, G. (2013). Work and the welfare state. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.
Cox, E. (2011). Evidence-free policy making? The case of income management. Journal of Indigenous Policy. Issue 12, pp. 1-15.
Guest, R. (2013). Borderless economics Chinese sea turtles, Indian fridges and the new fruits of global capitalism. South Yarra: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hay, C. & Wincott, D. (2012). The political economy of European welfare capitalism. South Yarra: Palgrave Macmillan.
Maddison, S. & Denniss, R. (2013). An introduction to Australian public policy. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.
O'Brien, R. & Williams, M. (2013). Global political economy. South Yarra: Palgrave Macmillan.
Pusey, M. (1991). Economic rationalism in Canberra: A nation-building state changes its mind. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.
Standing, G. (2011). The precariat: The new dangerous class. London: Bloomsbury.
Tomlinson, J. (2013). How did the attempt to abolish poverty become a war against the poor? Retrieve from www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15104 .
Wrennal, L. (2010). Surveillance and child protection: De-mystifying the Trojan Horse, Surveillance and society, 7(3/4): 304-324.
There are no particular risks associated with this unit.