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This can include service or organisation specific policies (ie policy on home visits in a case work placement, policies on staff supervision, flexible work hours) and/or broader policies such as mandatory reporting or legislation that governs statutory agencies. The aim is not that the student investigates every possible policy, but that they do so to the extent that they develop a concrete understanding of the relationship between the policies the agency’s work, their own practices and the polices they have identified.



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This could be an agency specific policy such as whether or not an agency offers home visits to clients or broader state based (such as child protection policies and legislation) or federal polices (such as those governing pensions and unemployment benefits). 



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Australian Policy Online

social policy

policy and justice issues

Indigenous issues

health issues

Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC). University of NSW

Resources available  online through SPRC

The Institute for Social Sciences Research (ISSR).  University of Queensland

Centre for Applied Social Research  (CASR) RMIT University. Victoria


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This could include activities such as investigating how opportunities for input both within and outside the organisation (for example peak bodies or other state/territory bodies specific to the field of practice and the AASW. If the student is undertaking a policy focused placement it may be useful for them to find out mechanisms the organisation has in place to enable social workers/human service workers employed in case work or community work positions to have input into the policy process. 


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Bacchi, C. (2009). Analysing policy : what's the problem represented to be? Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education.

Bowles, W., Collingridge, M., Curry, S., & Valentine, B. (2007). Ethical practices in Social Work. An Applied Approach. Crows Nest Allen and Unwin

Fawcett, B., Goodwin, S., Meagher, G., & Phillips, R. (2010). Social Policy for Social Change South Yarra: Palgrave MacmiIlan.

Marston, G., & Watts, R. (2003). Tampering With the Evidence: A Critical appraisal of Evidence -Based Policy-Making. The Drawing Board. An Australian Review of Public Affairs, 3(3), 143-163.

McClelland, A & Smyth, P (eds) 2006, Social policy in Australia:- understanding for action, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.

McDonald, C. (2003). Foreward via the Past? Evidence -Based Practice as Strategy in Social Work. The Drawing Board: An Australian Review of Public Affairs, 3(3), 123-142.

Serr, K. (2001). Thinking about Poverty East Brunswick, Victoria Social Work Services

Solas, J. (2008). What kind of social justice does social work seek? International Social Work 51(6), 813–822.

Yeatman, A. (1998). Activism and the Policy Process. St Leonards: Allen and Unwin.



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With assistance of field educator locates examples of briefing papers/submissions (or relevant document and in supervision discusses key elements of the style and format. With input from field educator completed a first draft of their briefing papers/submissions (or applicable document).

Evidence If applicable relevant briefing paper or work on submission