SOCWORK 712 : Social Work in Statutory Settings

Education and Social Work

2023 Semester One (1233) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An advanced examination of fields of practice in statutory social work. Will include areas such as family violence, child welfare, disability, health, mental health, and working with vulnerable adults. A critical investigation of context, relationships, power, ethics, interventions and best practice in these settings will be undertaken.

Course Overview

This Course examines the specific challenges involved in working with involuntary / reluctant clients in the context of risk, need and statutory authority. There is a strong focus on contemporary practice realities and issues or arsing from the legacy of policy and practice settings within a liberal capitalist settler colonail state. The Course aims to blend critical analysis with a strong emphasis on practice skills.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: SOCWORK 721, 722, 723, 724 and 725 Restriction: SOCWORK 411, 711

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Develop and demonstrate Develop and demonstrate a critical understanding of the skills and knowledge needed to practice effectively in statutory practice settings. (Capability 1.1, 1.3, 2.1, 3.2, 4.1 and 5.2)
  2. Develop and demonstrate critical awareness of the way in which the legal, organisational and political context of statutory settings, including risk minimization and accountability processes, influence the nature and quality of social work practice. (Capability 1.1, 2.1 and 6.1)
  3. Develop and demonstrate an analysis of the unique demands and opportunities which apply to work with mandated or involuntary clients, including the scope for creative and empowerment-informed practice in statutory settings. (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 6.1 and 6.2)
  4. Develop and apply a depth understanding of the importance of power differentials in formal practice settings and how these differentials may impact upon processes of engagement, assessment and intervention, with particular emphasis on working effectively with whanau Maori. (Capability 1.1, 1.3, 2.2, 3.1, 4.2, 5.2 and 6.1)
  5. Demonstrate a reflective understanding of the nature and significance of professional relationships in statutory practice – with service users, with colleagues and within organisational systems, including multi-disciplinary practice settings. (Capability 2.2, 2.3 and 4.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Analytical Essay 60% Individual Coursework
Knowledge / Skills reflection 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Analytical Essay
Knowledge / Skills reflection
Students must complete all components of the Assessment Tasks for this Course to the satisfaction of the examiners to gain an overall pass - students must achieve at least 50% for the course and hand in all assignments. Assignments must be handed in via Canvas and will pass through the Turntin vetting system for originality / plagiarism checking.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

A typical semester including the study/exam period totals approximately 15 weeks. This means that for this course you should expect to commit 36 hours to contact via on-campus engagement.

You can also reasonably expect to commit approximately 100-120 hours to independent learning. This may include reading (and more reading), note-taking, face-to-face and/or online discussion, writing, engaging in collaborative group work, problem solving, undertaking practical tasks, reflecting on learning, accessing learning and study resources, and assignment preparation and completion.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including labs/tutorials to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials/labs will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

This Course was delivered via zoom in 2022. Although the SET evaluation was positive, the respoense rate was low. Feedback re the clarity of assessement tasks has been taken on board and assignment wording will be refined accordingly for 2023.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 13/02/2023 08:16 a.m.