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Child Development in the Family Context
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The aim of this unit of study is to help students explore child development within the theory and context of the family’s bio-psychosocial and cultural environment. Child and family health nurses working with families with infants and young children must have an in-depth understanding of a child’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social development and the contextual and environmental influences on child health.

This knowledge assists nurses in facilitating parenting strengths and promoting the infant/child carer-relationship, therefore enabling the attachment process, this is a fundamental element in the healthy development of young children. Central to the role of child and family health nurses is the acquisition of skills in growth and developmental assessment. The interpretation of findings in relation to a child’s developmental age within their family, social and cultural context provides a good foundation for optimal developmental assessment, health screening and surveillance, and facilitates early intervention when developmental issues are detected.

Child and family health nurses promote the optimal development of children through a partnership approach and the provision of anticipatory guidance to parents; therefore, knowledge of child development helps in the provision of client-centred health promotion strategies leading to optimum child health outcomes.

Child Development in the Family Context
Unit of study code 018

Graduate Certificate in Child and Family Health Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Nursing

GC single unit of study

Pre-requisite N/A
Credit points 6
Hours of study 150
Fee* Tier 3
Clinical Placement Information

There is a compulsory 40 hours clinical placement for this unit of study.

Anyone applying for an ACN course that includes a clinical placement must provide evidence of compliance documents at the time of application.

Applications for enrolment will not be progressed until all relevant documentation has been received by customer services.

Each Australian state and territory has its own clinical placement documentation requirements. Please view our clinical placement information page, then click on the tab for your particular state or territory for information on specific requirements.

Individual placement providers may need additional documentation. If you are required to provide this then you will be contacted by the clinical placement officer following enrolment.

ACN negotiates with health care facilities to secure clinical placements. ACN will make every effort to secure clinical placements within the timeframe indicated in the course outline, however applicants are advised that provision and location of clinical placements is dependent on the availability of placements within the health facility.

As placements are difficult to secure, once confirmed these cannot be negotiated unless there is unforeseen extenuating circumstances. Applicants are not to arrange their own clinical placements with a clinical facility under any circumstances. ACN reserves the right to change clinical placements if necessary.

Prescribed texts Berk, LE & Meyers, AB 2015, Infants and children: Prenatal through middle childhood, 8th edn, Pearson, Boston.
Co-ordinated by Sue Mapletoft MACN

Intended learning outcomes for this subject/program


After completing this subject, the learner will be able to:-

Assessment Tasks

Type of assessment

Note the completed assessment item (e.g. Assessment 1: Online discussion)


(% of total marks)

When assessed – academic week

(e.g. Week 8)

Theme 1: Developmental foundations & influences a) discuss current literature, policies, models and frameworks that influence the child and family health nurse’s role in assessing and facilitating optimal child development Assessment 1: Online discussions x2 10% 3, 8
Theme 2: Developmental screening and assessment b) compare and contrast child development theories by reviewing the literature and examining their application to practice Assessment 2: Professional experience placement Achieved/Not achieved 3-9
Theme 3: Developmental progression  in infancy & toddlerhood c) demonstrate clinical leadership by developing partnerships with parents and community support networks to promote and protect the developing needs of children Assessment 3: Case analysis (part A) and Essay (part B) (2,500 words) 45% 6
Theme 4: Developmental progression in the preschool years d) analyse the complex family and environmental influences that can affect child development Assessment 4: Case analysis (part A) and Essay (part B) (2,500 words) 45% 10
Theme 5: Supporting optimal development e) discuss the significance of the early years for optimal brain development and infant-parent attachment

f) examine the importance of nutrition, immunisation, sleep and settling, safety and play for optimal child development

g) apply knowledge of the foundations of development to the developmental surveillance of infants and young children

h) appraise the role of the child and family health nurse in promoting and monitoring child health and wellbeing

i) analyse and interpret the elements of a comprehensive developmental assessment of infants and young children

j) facilitate parents towards a deeper understanding of their child’s developmental needs through health education, anticipatory guidance and parenting skill development.

Child Development in the Family Context (018) is a Tier 3 unit.

Tiers2020 Member price (10% discount)2020 Non-member price2021 Member price (10% discount)2021 Non-member price
Tier 1$2,007.00$2,230.00$2,070.00$2,300.00
Tier 2$2,295.00$2,550.00$2,362.50$2,625.00
Tier 3$2,695.50$2,995.00$2,776.50$3,085.00
Tier 4$3,222.00$3,580.00$3,321.00$3,690.00

*Fees are subject to change without notice.