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YSED202 Field Placement 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

Drawing on the experiences and learnings from Field Placement 1, this subject offers students an enhanced opportunity to experience the intersection of theory and practice. Students will have a greater allocation of time to ensure a deep and profound connection within a youth work agency where they will be enabled to put their developing youth work skills into practice. Students will be challenged to consider their own connection to praxis and to reflect on where and how they see the integration of theory with real world application.

This subject requires students to complete 300 hours of placement in an approved youth work agency. Whilst undertaking their placement, students will be challenged to integrate their knowledge of theory into youth work practice and service delivery. To achieve this, students are encouraged and supported to choose the field placement that best fits the career pathway they have decided to pursue, and as such, field placement will differ from student to student. Through all placement experiences, students will be supported to articulate their learnings and apply these insights to theoretical frameworks as well as their own professional practice. Students will experience practicing group and individual supervision to assist in their development of self-reflective practice skills.

Students will be expected to work with the agency to identify a project of value to the agency and with beneficial learning and skill development opportunities for the student. Students will be challenged to consider their own values and beliefs through purposeful, reasoned and goal directed critical thinking, and in consultation with field educators apply adult learning principles and experiential learning techniques to develop self-directed learning and autonomous work practices. Individualised field education plans will be negotiated between the student, agency and university.

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 - Describe and discuss the theoretical underpinnings of key youth work models, with reference to their first and second placement experiences (GA3, GA4, GA5) 

LO2 - Provide information to young people and make appropriate referrals (GA1, GA3, GA4) 

LO3 - Plan and implement program(s) by applying personal support and/or group work skills (GA1, GA3, GA5, GA8) 

LO4 - Participate in and develop youth networks (GA5) 

LO5 - Demonstrate a range of youth work practice skills that would allow them to be considered at industry entry level (GA3, GA5) 

LO6 - Demonstrate their capacity to work as a youth worker in a professional manner including working on a project in an agency (GA3, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10) 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

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

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

  • Individual and group activities with young people 
  • Program development and implementation 
  • Intervention and support strategies 
  • Conflict resolution, conflict management and violence prevention strategies 
  • Report writing and agency documentation processes 
  • Networking and referral processes 
  • Community education strategies 
  • Participate in professional supervision 
  • Career planning and self-evaluation  
  • Working with at risk and marginalised young people in agency settings 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode: A variety of formats will be used throughout the course of this unit, including lectures, workshops, seminars, case studies, student presentations and a guest speaker series. 

Duration: 15 hours in class preparation time and 300 hours placement in an approved youth work agency. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks for this subject are pass/fail.  

Students are required to successfully undertake 300 hours of field placement in an approved youth service/agency. The 300 hours of field work enables students to comprehensively engage in programs, service delivery and the daily tasks of the host organisation. Students will participate in a project that enables them to experience greater responsibility, control and leadership within a program. Through participating in regular supervision with the host organisation and also the ACU field placement coordinator, students will grow in self-understanding of their own developing practice.  

The report on the field work requires students to give a detailed outline of the various works of their host agency with special reference to any programs, services and/or practices they were involved in during their placement. In addition, students must reflect on where/how they experienced the intersection of youth work theories and those theories being delivered/enlivened/enacted in the work place. Students must reflect on how they saw successes and challenges of this nexus and discuss any tensions/learnings they took away from the experience.  

The reflective journal is a progressive piece of work which reflects the student’s developing knowledge and critical reflective practice. The journal is a record of skills mastered on placement and is a focussed examination on the learning experience that were offered whilst on placement.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Field Work Placement 

Students are required to undertake 300 hours of placement in a youth work agency and receive a satisfactory report from their agency placement supervisor. 


LO4, LO6 

GA3, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Reflective Journal 

Students are required to record and reflect on experiences during placement 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5 

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5 

Written Piece 

Students are required to complete a written report on the host agency 


LO1, LO2, LO3 LO5 

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Beddoe, L & Maidment, J 2009, Mapping knowledge for social work practice: Critical intersections, 1st edn, Cengage Learning, South Melbourne. 

Cleak, H & Wilson, J 2018, Making the most of field placement, 4th edn, Thomson: Southbank Melbourne. 

Corney, T 2014, Professional youth work: An Australian perspective, Incolink, Carlton, Vic. 

Davys, A & Beddoe, L 2019, Best practice in professional supervision: A guide for the helping professions, 2nd edn, Jessica Kingsley Publishers Auckland, NZ. 

Egan, R & Testa, D 2013, 'Models of Supervision', in K. Stagnitti, A. Schoo, & D. Welch, (eds), Clinical and Fieldwork Placement in the Health Professions, 2nd Ed, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic, pp.145-58.  

Giles, R, Irwin, J, Lynch, D & Waugh, F 2010, In the field: From learning to practice, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic.  

Oelofsen, N 2014, Developing reflective practice: A guide for students and practitioners of health and social care, Lantern Publishing, Banbury, UK. 

Sapin, K 2014, Essential skills for youth work practice, 2nd edn, SAGE, London. 

Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, 2007, A code of ethics for youth workers, Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, Melbourne. 

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