Curriculum Guideline

Family Violence, Abuse and Recovery

Effective Date:
Course Code
CYCC 2460
Family Violence, Abuse and Recovery
Child and Youth Care
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging over 2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
60 hours per semester: Lecture
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction
  • Lecture
  • Group discussion and exercises
  • Student presentations
  • Audio visual presentations
  • WebCT
Course Description
In this course, students will examine a broad range of abuse issues in the lives of families, children and youth. The role of the practitioner in assessing the indicators of abuse, reporting abuse, providing support and referral will be examined from a practice and policy perspective. The course will also explore how our attitudes, values, and experiences affect our perceptions and judgments when dealing with the subject of abuse.
Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  • Abuse occurs in the context of family, community, and culture.  For a number of reasons (emotional, psychological, economic) individuals can respond reactively and intentionally or unintentionally cause harm to others.  Human development, change, and adaptation occur throughout the lifespan.
  • Abuse takes on many forms and interpretations. Abuse can be presented as physical abuses, physical neglect, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, and sexual abuse.  While many victims represent vulnerable populations (children, elderly, disabled, women) abuse surpasses ethnicity, class, and economic status.
  • Child abuse is historically problematic. Concerns raised over the protection of children have continually led to debate over the sanctity of the family versus state intervention.
  • Different cultural groups have different perspectives on abuse, discipline, recovery and support.
  • Family violence affects one in eight families.  The themes of gender and socialization are central to an understanding of wife battering, child abuse and sexual assault.  Family violence, particularly wife battering is a reflection of an unequal distribution of power within a society that is patriarchal, based on male prerogative.
  • Considered the “hidden abuse”, elder abuse is on the increase due to the rise in the aging population.  The demands on the caregiver of an aging population are both stressful and exhausting.  In families where resources (economic and support systems) are minimal, stressors increase and the risk of elder abuse escalates.
  • The role of human service practitioners in an abuse situation is to support, report, advocate and refer, from a strengths-based perspective.  It is critical that practitioners refrain from investigations, as this is the responsibility of the police, Crown Counsel, and/or child protective services.
  • Abuse intervention is difficult and can often be disturbing.  Practitioner self-care is an essential component to effective work.  Practitioners can benefit from establishing personal and/or professional support systems.  Practitioner’s well-being is dependent upon self-awareness, a sense of humour, objectivity and the ability to be proactive.  A personal plan aimed at stress reduction and self-care is recommended.
  • Working respectfully with people involves having an awareness of both our personal and professional values, and our attitudes, and beliefs.  Ethics are central in working with issues of abuse and violence.
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify how our personal and professional attitudes, values and experiences affect our perceptions and judgments when intervening in cases of potential abuse and family violence.
  2. Describe the impact of historical and current institutional and systemic abuse on families and communities, including Aboriginal peoples.
  3. Describe historical perspective of, and interventions used, regarding the various types of child abuse and family violence.
  4. Define the various types of child abuse and family violence, including physical and emotional child abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, partner abuse and elder abuse, including the indicators.
  5. Describe the psychological, social and cultural causal factors of the various types of child abuses and family violence, while recognizing the diversity of cultural perspectives on abuse and recovery.
  6. Describe the potentially abused child in a disclosure process and apply strengths-based practice skills to support this process when working with children, youth and families.
  7. Describe strengths-based practice skills to support a potentially abused child during the disclosure process.
  8. Describe the appropriate child protection and criminal reporting procedures in a respectful way.
  9. Describe the emotional, behavioural and psychological impact on children who experience and/or witness child abuse and/or family violence.
  10. Describe the appropriate practice skills to provide support and referral to children and youth that have witnessed and/or experienced child abuse and/or family violence.
  11. Describe key current ethical dilemmas and perspective in the field of child abuse and family violence.
  12. Demonstrate the importance of self-care when working with individuals and families and the various types of child abuses and family violence.
Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.

Typical means of evaluation will include a combination of:

  • Written research assignments,
  • Journals,
  • Class presentations,
  • Examinations
  • Class participation.

This is a graded course.

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students