University of Technology Sydney

92620 Family and Community Health Practice

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks


This subject investigates the broader perspective of community health and wellness in child and family health nursing. The shared community responsibility of family support is explored together with processes that promote family and community health and wellness. Students develop their construct and understanding of family function, assessment, and stress factors, especially related to transitional periods. This subject facilitates the student's ability to interact appropriately with families building on families' strengths and determining appropriate interventions. The signs of distress and dysfunction in the family that may have an adverse effect on infant mental health are determined and addressed. Students gain an increased appreciation of the significant role the family plays in relation to the mental and physical health and wellbeing of its members and to the health of the whole community.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Critically analyse the principles of primary health care and health promotion as the basis for health care delivery
B. Critically examine the implications of diverse family structures in Australian society in relation to caregiver
C. Differentiate and critically analyse the complexity of family relationships and responses to stressors and challenges
D. Analyse and assess the impact of ongoing colonisation and its pervasive discourse on Indigenous Australians and their health and wellbeing
E. Analyse and determine the complexities of families with multiple vulnerabilities inclusive of family violence and working in partnership to develop interventions that build on the family’s strengths identifying support services and referral pathways.
F. Research and evaluate the connection between the wellbeing of the family and the larger community

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • A graduate of this course practices within a strengths-based, relationship-focused, family-partnership wellness model (1.0)
  • A graduate of this course demonstrates cognitive flexibility and reflective functioning when working with families and young children (2.0)
  • A graduate of this course promotes the primacy of early childhood and the importance of first relationships in relation to health and wellbeing outcomes throughout the lifespan (3.0)
  • A graduate of this course exhibits specialist nursing knowledge and skills in the care of young children, parents and families at beginning practitioner level (4.0)
  • A graduate of this course is a critical thinker who is able to assess a body of evidence and integrate it into practice (5.0)
  • Graduates have professional competency, which contributes to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, inclusive of physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellness (6.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

Orientation activities
Preparation for the Session - students are expected to undertake activities prior to the first week. These activities include online readings, videos, interaction with peers, and are important in helping students prepare for the subject's Assessment Tasks. This also provides students with an opportunity to meet and interact with peers. Students will learn through independent learning activities, group work, peer review, and participation in the Workshop.

Independent learning activities
Relevant readings, videos and activities will be made available online relevant to the topic of the week. Students are expected to come to Workshops prepared. This will enhance the students’ ability to progress successfully throughout the subject and complete assessment items effectively. The online material aims to enhance students’ understanding of the topic or delve deeper into a more specific area, compare experiences and ideas with others, and gain feedback. Information and links to all these learning activities can be accessed via Canvas as well as the subject outline.

Workshop will provide opportunities for group activities and discussion, self-assessment, peer review and formative feedback from the subject coordinator. Zoom meetings will be conducted at a time that enables the majority of students to contribute. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the Workshops as these prepare students for the subject’s Assessment Tasks.

Feedback will be frequent and takes several forms including self-assessment, peer review, automatic feedback from interactive activities e.g. quizzes, and from the subject coordinator. Formative feedback throughout the subject aims to increase student performance at summative assessments.

Content (topics)

Unit 1: Family relationships

  • Transition to parenthood and learning to parent
  • Caring for the family
  • Fathers
  • Grandparents as carers
  • Families under stress
  • Promoting health and wellbeing in families

Unit 2: Family Health

  • Maternal health in the first year postpartum
  • Women's health issues
  • Men's health issues
  • Family violence and screening

Unit 3: Families with complex history of multiple vulnerabilities

  • Identification of vulnerabilities of the family
  • Effect of the traumatic experiences on the individual and the family
  • Developing family strengths and coping behaviours; recognising resilience in the face of stress and crisis
  • Community resources and networks
  • Stress-vulnerability model for mental health

Unit 4: Perinatal and infant mental health

  • Levels of risk and vulnerability
  • Psychosocial assessment including use of Edinburgh Depression Scale
  • Frontline management of mental health problems including psychological distress, mood disorders and psychosis
  • Identification of risk factors for mental health problems
  • Identification and management of perinatal mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.
  • Psychosocial assessment of the family in the perinatal period.
  • Interplay of social determinants on health

Unit 5: Community health and wellness

  • Connecting and sustaining families within their community
  • Multicultural families in the community
  • Developing social capital
  • Encouraging community development and capacity building with families with young children
  • Developing programs that foster social cohesion and connections amongst families with young children.
  • Maintaining family health within the community context


Assessment task 1: Critical Analysis-Indigenous Australian Families in Health and Community


In this assignment students will learn how the impacts of colonisation, the past and present government policies continue to have detrimental effects on the breakdown of cultural and social structures and the deterioration in the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islanders and Indigenous peoples.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 3.0, 5.0 and 6.0

Type: Essay
Weight: 50%

2000 words, +/- 10% (excluding references and appendices)

Assessment task 2: Case study-Families with Complex History of Multiple Vulnerabilities


In this assignment students will further develop their knowledge and construct of families and the impact the social determinants of health can have on child development and differentiate which social factors can optimise or disadvantage the child’s development, health and wellbeing. Students will also learn strategies about how to care for themselves when caring for families with vulnerabilities.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0

Type: Case study
Weight: 50%

2000 words, +/- 10% (excluding references and appendices)

Required texts

There is no required textbook for this subject. Students are directed to readings in their study guides, and the readings are made available to students via the UTS Library website.


Refer to Canvas for access to up to date references for this subject.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website ( and
Canvas at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.