SWL206 - Human Development for Social Service Professionals

Outline info
Last revision date 2017-05-29 00:27:32.477
Last review date 2017-07-17 00:15:11.701

Subject Title
Human Development for Social Service Professionals

Subject Description
The subject introduces the student to models of human development that will be instrumental in informing the knowledge base of their social service practice. Students will become aware of the myriad of factors - physiological, cognitive, emotional, social, cultural, and subjective - affecting human development throughout the lifespan.

Credit Status
One credit in the Social Service Worker Diploma Program.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1.    Describe at least 4 contemporary theoretical approaches in human development from a life span perspective relevant to the helping profession
2.    Demonstrate an introductory understanding research in the field of human development from a critical thinking approach
3.    Apply the 4 domains of physiological, cognitive, personality/social and cultural to each human life stage from at least two theoretical perspectives per domain.
4.    Apply one or more of these theories to the student’s own life stages and experiences
5.    Identify an introductory level of socio-historical context in shaping life span development from an anti-oppressive approach
6.    Apply human development theory to a case study in class and/or in the field
7.    Analyze underlying social structures affecting individuals from a lifespan perspective

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline

  • Overview of Theories
  • Heredity and Prenatal Development, and Birth        
  • Infancy Physical, Cognitive & Social/Emotional Development
  • Different stages of Childhood right through adulthood
  • Understanding the developmental stages of Eric Erickson

Mode of Instruction
The following modes may be used depending upon availability of resources and appropriateness of the material: lecture and discussion, group work, case studies, video and guest speakers.

Prescribed Texts
Rathus, S. A. & Longmuir, S. (2015). HDEV, 2nd Canadian Edition. Toronto: Nelson Education Ltd. - ISBN-13: 978-0176531669

Reference Material
Valentino, E. (2013) Handle with Care: Communicating in the Human Services Field in Canada. Nelson Education: Toronto, ON, Publisher: Nelson College Indigenous; 5 edition (Feb. 23 2012) - ISBN-13: 978-0176504397

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Term Work and Final Examination Requirements:

Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course.

If you are unable to complete the Final Exam/Assignment in this subject, you must provide documentation to support the absence to the instructor within one week.  If necessary, this information will be presented at the promotion meeting for consideration in determining and recommending the final grade.


All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final examination. Unless students have been granted an extension in advance, late assignments will be penalized accordingly. There is no provision for rewriting late assignments, regardless of the grade awarded.  Students must contact faculty in advance of due date to discuss extensions.

All assignments must be correctly documented using APA and follow the criteria established by the instructor, unless otherwise noted.

If an assignment is missed due to class absence, any official documentation that might be grounds for arranging a make-up opportunity must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class.  Make-up opportunities do not apply to all graded assignments.


Test and Exam dates have been pre-arranged and are non-negotiable.  If a test/exam is missed, the student must provide official documentation to support the reason for the absence within one week to the instructor.  Make-up tests or exams will be granted for extenuating circumstances only and at the discretion of the faculty.

For further information on evaluation and academic standing, please refer to the Seneca College Academic Policy http://www.senecac.on.ca/academic-policy/acpol-08.html.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Individual assignment 30%
In Class Case Studies 20%
Mid Term Exam 20%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%
In Class Case Studies must be completed in class. They will not be posted on Blackboard. Students, who do not attend class when the case study is presented, will not be given the opportunity to complete the assignment at home.
Due to the discursive nature of this subject, attendance is crucial. It is expected that students will make every reasonable effort to attend all classes. Failure to do so will inevitably compromise the quality of the student's learning experience and jeopardize his/her chances of success.

Student Success:
Please come prepared to participate in class.  Make sure you bring your course text to each class, participate in class discussions, hand in any assigned work on time and attend each and every class.  Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.


Approved by: Sandra Noble