SWSP1033 Social Work Theory and Practice (Case Management and Program Development)

Level: Bachelor
Credit Points: Six
Prerequisites: None
Mode(s) of delivery: On-campus (Sydney)
Core/elective: Core

Unit Description

In aiming to link together services so that clients can have their individual needs met in a constructive and seamless manner, case management has become the dominant practice model for many service providers across the human services sector. This unit examines its development and its fit with program development practice. Despite its prolific growth across the sector, case management's practice hides many meanings, practices, and challenges. Discussion of its misuse and limitations as well as its strengths and uses are also addressed.  

Unit Workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week. This includes timetabled class time and private study time.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Explain and reflect on the state’s role in citizens' lives and the ongoing management of their social care.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the theory and practice of case management and in particular its approach to providing health and welfare services to vulnerable people.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of program management in practice and its uses and limitations.
  4. Link program management skills with case management methodologies to various case scenarios and critique its application with a cultural and gender lens.
  5. Articulate the uses and abuses of case management and program development especially across diverse practice contexts and various clients groups.

Learning and Teaching Approach

  1. Learning is an active process – which involves both questioning and challenging.
  2. Learning is a shared process – where others’ thoughts and ideas are presented, critically analysed, exchanged and respected.
  3. Learning is a collaborative and empowering process for self and others.
  4. Learning is thoughtful and reflective.
  5. Learning requires integration with prior knowledge and other arenas of knowledge development in the program.
  6. Preparation for lectures and seminars and reading the recommended texts and references is essential.

The content of this unit has been designed to maximise both online and face-to-face learning to integrate the subject matter.

Students are expected to:

  • Complete all activities
  • Complete readings
  • Complete all assessments
  • Attend all classes

It is also recommended that students:

  • Keep a record of new terminology that is introduced in this unit
  • Keep a copy of assessments and other correspondence
  • Make notes on unit content and readings

There will be learning activities linked to all lecture materials which are designed to encourage students to deliberate and reflect and to provide opportunities for further learning. The activities are designed to help students think through and practise the specific skills and general concepts presented in this unit as well as provide valuable learning opportunities.

Assessment Summary



Word Count

Week Assessed

Learning Outcomes Assessed

Skill Exercise and Reflection




2, 3

Role Play




2, 3, 4, 5



2,000 words


1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Recommended Text

  • Gursansky, D., Kennedy, R., & Camilleri, P. (2012). The practice of case management: Effective strategies for positive outcomes. Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin.

Recommended Readings

  • Chung, R., & Benak, F. (2012). Social justice counselling: The next step beyond multiculturalism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Fejo-King, C. (2013). Let’s talk kinship: Innovating Australian social work education, theory, research and practice through Aboriginal knowledge. Torrens, Australia: Christine Fejo-King Consulting.
  • Jandt, F. (2013). An introduction to intercultural communication: Identities in a global community. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Lindsay, T., & Orton, S. (2014). Group work practice in social work (3rd ed.). Exeter, England: Learning Matters.
  • Maidment, J., & Egan, R. (2009). Practice skills in social work and welfare: More than just common sense. Crows Nest, Australia: Allen & Unwin.
  • Moore, E. (Ed.) (2009). Case management for community practice. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.
  • Muller, L. (2014). A theory for Indigenous Australian health and human service work: Connecting Indigenous knowledge and practice. Crows Nest, Australia: Allen & Unwin.
  • O’Hara, A., & Pocket, R. (2011). Skills for human service work: Working with individuals, groups and communities. Sydney, Australia: Oxford University Press.
  • Pawar, M., & Cox, D. (Eds.) (2010). Social development: Critical themes and perspectives. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Shulman, L. (2009). The skills of helping individual, families, groups and communities (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
  • Summers, N. (2012). Fundamentals of case management practice: Skills for the human service workers (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.


  • Australian Social Work
  • ADVANCES: Journal of Social Work and Welfare Education
  • Australian Journal of Social Issues
  • Critical Social Work
  • Journal of Social Work Education (USA)
  • Journal of Social Work (UK)

Academic Misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to http://currentstudents.acap.edu.au/assets/Managing-My-Course/A-Z-Policies/Academic-Misconduct-Policy.pdf for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the trimester. For a list of required textbooks for the upcoming trimester, please click here.