Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

150 hours of focussed learning

Unit rationale, description and aim

Families account for a significant proportion of unpaid care provision and support to people experiencing mental health problems. Therefore, it is essential that mental health practitioners understand and consider the conceptual and practice implications of supporting and upholding the social context within which recovery occurs.

This unit explores the relational elements of recovery and the roles that close social relationships often play in the recovery journey. It compares individualist approaches with collectivist approaches to recovery and wellbeing and examines the impact of mental illness on close social network members. Contemporary perspectives on the role of family inclusive recovery-based practice in mental health and family inclusive processes will be considered and explored. The unit will focus on the development of core practice skills relevant to family inclusive recovery based practice, including individual and family wellbeing assessment processes.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with the opportunity to integrate family perspectives into their practice in order to provide holistic, person-centred and recovery-based care to consumers and support to families.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - articulate and differentiate between contemporary theory and approaches to recovery and the role of families and close social networks (GA5, GA9);

LO2 - demonstrate skills in the application of Family Inclusive Recovery-Based Practice, knowledge and skills to support the well-being and recovery of individuals and family and their close social network members and of the network as a whole (GA5, GA6, GA9);

LO3 - analyse, engage and apply Family Inclusive Recovery-Based Practice, knowledge and skills to shape policy and practice within contemporary mental health settings (GA6, GA2, GA5, GA9).

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:

Contemporary Recovery Theory and Approaches

  • Individualist and collectivist approaches to recovery based theory and practice
  • Contested perspectives on families and mental health theory, policy and practice
  • Recovery as a relational journey and the experience of individuals, families and close social networks
  • Social and cultural models of mental health and wellbeing

Family Inclusive Practice and Family Inclusive Recovery Based Practice

  • Contemporary family inclusive policy and practice
  • Contemporary models of Family Inclusive Recovery Based Practice Language, positioning and roles in supporting wellbeing and recovery
  • Core practice skills

Family Inclusive Recovery based Practice Applications:

  • Family assessment and planning
  • Applying models of Family Inclusive Recovery Based Practice within the existing policy, practice parameters, roles and settings– support work, peer mentoring, counselling, psychoeducation, therapy, diversional activities, respite, clinical support
  • Outcome evaluation and measurement

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit utilises an active learning process offered in online mode delivery through the learning environment online (LEO) via eLearning link. This approach to learning is flexible and inclusive, enabling students to access a range of learning opportunities form a variety of geographical locations. Students will have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on the development and implementation of family inclusive recovery-based practice within contemporary mental health service delivery. This will be achieved through student-centred learning and teaching activities completed through online learning activities. These online activities include Inquiry Based Learning, student seminars, discussion forums, chat rooms, oral presentations, guided readings with links to electronic readings, self-assessments, self- directed learning and webinars that will provide students with the opportunity to analyse and critically evaluate the family inclusive recovery-oriented approach in their clinical practice.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy used allows for the progressive development of knowledge and skills necessary for the student to be able to demonstrate ethical and effective professional practice in the delivery of family inclusive recovery-oriented models of care.

To effectively and safely implement Family Inclusive Recovery-Based Practice, students must first demonstrate evidence of understanding the theories pertaining to family-centred practice, the impact on and opportunities in the caring role for families and the development and current usage of family inclusive recovery based practice models . This understanding is seen to best emerge through active discussion with peers and lecturers. Students will then apply their learning to guided practice responses to video scenarios to demonstrate understanding of the application of Family Inclusive Recovery-Based Practice, knowledge and skills. Finally, students will be required to show how the application of Family Inclusive Recovery-Based Practice knowledge and skills within an organisational context can lead to best practice in family-inclusive and recovery-based care.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Online Seminar Presentation (20 minutes)

Enables students to demonstrate critical analysis and understanding of the theories, issues and opportunities families may encounter as part of their caring role for a loved one experiencing mental ill health



GA5, GA9

Assessment Task 2: Critical Reflection (1500 words)

Critical reflection on guided practice responses to video scenarios to demonstrate understanding of Family Inclusive Recovery-Based Practice application. (1500 words)




Assessment task 3: Written Assignment (1500 words)

Apply Family Inclusive Recovery-Based Practice, knowledge and skills to organisational process to develop best practice approach to Family Inclusive Recovery-Based Practice.



GA2, GA5, GA6, GA9

Representative texts and references

Commonwealth of Australia, (2013). National Framework for Recovery Oriented Mental Health Services: Guide for Practitioners and Providers, Canberra. Retrieved from$File/recovgde.pdf

   Harper, A., Thomas, N. & Bland, R. (2016) The Social Context of Recovery: Using the concepts of a LIFESPACE and Relational Well-being to inform a family inclusive recovery-based practice framework, The TheMHS 2016 Conference Book of Proceedings People. Authenticity Starts in the Heart, Auckland New Zealand 23-26 August, 2016.

Olsen, M., Seikkula, J., & Ziedonis, D. (2014). The Key Elements of Dialogic Practice in Open Dialogue: Fidelity Criteria. Version 1.1: Accessed at on Sep 2, 2014.

Tew, J., Ramon, S., Slade, M., Bird, V., Melton, J., & Le Boutillier, C., (2012) Social Factors and Recovery from Mental Health Difficulties: A Review of the Evidence, British Journal of Social Work,  42, 443– 460.

Topor, A., Borg, M., Di Girolamo, S. and Davidson, L., (2011) Not just an individual Journey: Social Aspects of Recovery. Int J Soc Psychiatry, 57,90-99.

Wyder, M. & Bland, R. (2014). The recovery framework as a way of understanding family’s response to mental illness: Balancing different needs and recovery journeys. Australian Social Work, 67(2), 179-196.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs