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EDU3325 Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect for Helping Professionals

Semester 3, 2021 Online
Short Description: Understand Child Abuse Neglect
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 079999 - Education not elsewhere classi
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 6 December 2021


Examiner: India Bryce


Enrolment is not permitted in EDU3325 if EDU5325 has been previously completed.


All professionals working with children and adolescents need to have comprehensive knowledge and a clear understanding of child maltreatment and child protection issues, theoretical frameworks underpinning practice, and current models of practice in order to be able to: 1. Recognise indicators of various forms of child abuse; 2. Understand and assess risk and vulnerability in the context of child abuse and neglect; 3. Contribute to intervention procedures (intervention approaches, mandatory reporting and cooperation with the intervening team of specialist agencies/authorities); 4. Apply protection measures and prevention programmes (actively promote, participate and/or apply recommended protective and preventative programmes suitable to human services settings). This course aims to assist helping professionals in becoming more confident in their understanding of child maltreatment. In addition, it will provide them with practical skills in dealing with highly sensitive and complex issues of child and youth victimisation.


The overall aim of this course is to introduce helping professionals to the field of child abuse and associated protection and intervention issues. This course approaches child abuse from a range of perspectives, including ecological, psychosocial, criminological and cumulative risk and provides an advanced study of child abuse phenomenon. The course examines various theoretical frameworks informing the current understanding of child abuse and explores the various context in which child abuse occurs - such as family, peer group, institution and a wider social context. Within these ecological environments students study the risks, indicators and consequences of the broadening scope of child abuse, moving beyond the commonly acknowledged types of abuse; emotional, physical, sexual, neglect and exposure to witnessing domestic and family violence, and including new complexities of online and virtual abuse, trafficking, foetal abuse and institutional abuse. Key professional competencies relevant to the protection of children are addressed, including the roles and responsibilities of the agencies engaged in child protection work, and the prevention and intervention mechanisms which can be employed to protect children in the helping professions. The course is delivered in an online environment, utilising online discussions and virtual classrooms (such as zoom) and also offers practical application opportunities, whereby students explore various ways of dealing with this social problem, with the emphasis on applications within the human services context.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Identify and define the broad scope of child abuse and neglect typologies. (Assignment 1 and 2)
  2. Critically explore the effects of child abuse across the lifespan (Assignment 1 and 2)
  3. Criticality analyse the social, political, ethical, and cultural context of child abuse (Assignment 1 and 2)
  4. Determine how knowledge and understanding of child abuse and neglect (local, national and global perspectives) can inform the intervention, protection and prevention processes (Assignment 2)
  5. Review and evaluate the various intervention, prevention and protection process and opportunities relevant the human services context (Assignment 2)
  6. Demonstrate competence in reflective practice, written language and scholarly writing including correct spelling, grammar, and bibliographic referencing (Assignments 1, 2 and 3).


Description Weighting(%)
1. History of child abuse theory, research and typologies 20.00
2. Child maltreatment - understanding child abuse types; prevalence; contextual influences; precipitants and risk; social constructs of maltreatment and abuse; human rights; culture. 20.00
3. Impact of child maltreatment across the lifespan 20.00
4. Child protection contexts and systems – statutory child protection, criminal justice systems, health, mental health, law and education, legislation, criminality of child abuse; systemic protective practice. 20.00
5. Intervention and prevention - processes and procedures; health promotion; creating change; treatment and recovery processes for children; protective behaviours awareness; risk assessment; clinical interventions, working with vulnerable people. 20.00

Text and Materials

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Bryce, I 2017, Cumulative Harm and Resilience Framework: An Assessment, Prevention and Intervention Resource for Helping Professionals, Cengage, Australia.
Bryce, I., Robinson, Y., & Petherick, W 2019, Child Abuse and Neglect: Forensic issues in evidence, impact and Management, Elsevier, London.

Reference Materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Bryce, I., & Petherick, W 2019, Child Sexual Abuse: Forensic issues in evidence, impact and Management, Elsevier, London.
Doyle, C 1997, Working with abused children, Macmillan.
Doyle, C., & Timms, C 2014, Child neglect and emotional abuse: understanding, assessment and response, Sage.
Goddard, Christopher R 1996, Child abuse and child protection : a guide for health, education and welfare workers, Churchill Livingstone, South Melbourne, Australia.
Howe, D 2005, Child abuse and neglect: Attachment, development and intervention, Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Tilbury, C. Osmond, J., Wilson, S., & Clark, J 2007, Good practice in child protection, Pearson Education Australia, New South Wales, Australia.

Student Workload Expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Private Study 85.00

Assessment Details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 17 Dec 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 50 50 28 Jan 2022

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to participate appropriately in all activities including discussion fora scheduled for them, and to study all materials provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the available weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Not applicable.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment Notes

  1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

Other Requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and Internet access to UConnect for this course.

Date printed 6 December 2021