Unit of competency details

HLTAHW607B - Provide guidance in social and emotional well being (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 25/Mar/2011

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by HLTAHW072 - Provide guidance in social and emotional wellbeingNew unit in HLT Training Package Release 1.0. Significant changes to elements and performance criteria. New evidence requirements for assessment, including volume and environment requirements Prerequisite unit removed 30/Jun/2013

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061305 Indigenous Health  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061305 Indigenous Health  04/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit Descriptor 

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to provide social and emotional well being guidance and support to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients in crisis, in need and in the context of an ongoing supportive client/worker relationship

Application of the Unit


Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander SEWB workers may apply these skills and knowledge as part of primary health care services

Successful completion of this unit equips Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers to provide support related to social and emotional wellbeing and does not infer that they are qualified counsellors

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable



This unit must be assessed after successful achievement of pre-requisites:

  • HLTAHW507B Work effectively in social and emotional well being
  • HLTAHW508B Develop a healing framework for social and emotional well being work

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Work within professional and personal boundaries

1.1 Define and observe the professional boundaries of SEWB support relationships in relation to working with a range of clients, including: women, men, children, youth, families, couples

1.2 Explain the professional and personal boundaries of SEWB support and discuss with the client 

1.3 Work in accordance with organisation policies  on professional and personal boundaries

2. Assess the current status and needs of the client

2.1 Establish a safe, supportive and culturally secure environment for the client

2.2 Explain the process of providing guidance and support to the client

2.3 Explain the role and limitations of the social and emotional well being worker to the client

2.4 Take client history through discussion with the client and appropriate others

2.5 Assess client's current mental status and needs by discussion with the client and appropriate others

3. Plan treatment for the client

3.1 Discuss treatment options with client, including alternative therapies that may include traditional Aboriginal healing

3.2 Develop a treatment plan with the client

3.3 Identify and explore referral options

4. Provide appropriate emotional support and guidance to clients

4.1 Establish an emotionally safe and culturally secure environment to support client self-disclosure

4.2 Use appropriate communication techniques to build rapport, empathy and trust with the client

4.3 Take into account socioeconomic demographic, cultural and language needs in all counselling work

4.4 Use a non judgemental approach in all counselling work

4.5 Use strategies for resolving conflict where appropriate

4.6 Use strategies for building self esteem where appropriate

4.7 Select therapies and techniques appropriate to client's physical, cultural, spiritual, intellectual and emotional needs

4.8 Provide information to the client as appropriate and at the client's request in accordance with organisation policy and procedures, confidentiality requirements and duty of care

5. Refer clients

5.1 Discuss referral options with client

5.2 Maintain links with referral agencies

5.3 Facilitate referral to other agencies where and when appropriate

5.4 Follow up with clients referred to other agencies as appropriate to social and emotional well being work role

6. Review counselling treatment with clients

6.1 Discuss effectiveness of the treatment plan with the client

6.2 Discuss options for variation to the treatment plan with the client

6.3 Consult colleagues as necessary and appropriate in accordance with confidentiality requirements

6.4 Revise treatment plans with the client

7. Review or end counselling relationship with the client

7.1 Review effectiveness of therapeutic relationship with the client

7.2 Discuss ending a counselling relationship with the client and others (i.e. other agencies) as appropriate

7.3 Review impact on the client of ending the counselling relationship

7.4 Put in place referral and support networks to support client when counselling relationship ends

8. Use self protection strategies

8.1 Use conflict resolution and negotiation in a crisis as appropriate

8.2 Take appropriate action to ensure safety of client, self and others in accordance with organisation policies and protocols and available resources

8.3 Seek emergency assistance as required

8.4 Acknowledge limits of own abilities and refer appropriately in accordance with organisation policies and available resources

8.5 Seek debriefing as required

8.6 Undertake ongoing self care and stress management activities

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge :

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes knowledge of:

  • Conflict resolution strategies for individuals and families
  • Counselling models and techniques:
  • 6 step problem solving method
  • 5 stages of trauma recovery
  • ABC model of behaviour
  • cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) model
  • brief solution focussed therapy
  • narrative therapy
  • strategies for counselling of survivors of sexual abuse, sexual assault, children and youth, couples, families, grieving families, friends and communities
  • motivational counselling
  • definitions and models of grief counselling
  • strategies of open communication for couples
  • what makes a good counsellor (listening, skills, empathy, trust etc)
  • Debriefing
  • definitions and processes
  • for self
  • for colleagues
  • History of Aboriginal people and its impact on current behaviours, communities and perceptions
  • Healing models, such as:
  • Atkinson's trans-generational healing model
  • traditional healing and counselling
  • healing through art, drawing, music
  • social genograms
  • narrative therapy
  • Local community structures
  • Local cultural protocols and traditions
  • Local support networks and services
  • Professional boundaries
  • ethics of counselling - including personal relationships
  • confidentiality and its limits
  • Procedures for working with clients in crisis ie safety issues, liaising with emergency agencies, calming strategies etc
  • Referral agencies and options

continued  ...

Essential knowledge  (continued ):

  • Sexual abuse (definitions, myths and facts, ways survivors feel and behave, monitoring sexual abuse, patterns in relating to the world for survivors).
  • Sexual assault
  • definitions, myths and facts
  • effects
  • legal and medical procedures and strategies for counselling
  • Stolen/removed generations
  • Suicide and self harm
  • risk factors
  • emergency procedures
  • assistance and support (agencies, community, family)
  • counselling strategies
  • referral options

Essential knowledge may also include :

  • Vocational counselling:
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses and preferences of client
  • local vocational networks and services
  • available vocational training and employment opportunities (e.g. apprenticeships, traineeships, TAFE, RTOs, CDEP, literacy and numeracy support)

Essential skills :

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Assess the mental status and needs of clients in crisis and develop appropriate treatment and/or referral plans/options in consultation with the client
  • Provide clients with appropriate emotional support and guidance within professional boundaries of SEWB support relationships and own work role

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes the ability to apply:

  • Counselling skills:
  • listening skills
  • negotiation
  • questioning, reframing
  • externalising
  • reflection process by worker
  • Counselling techniques - individual, family, couple, with specific skills in working with:
  • children
  • youth
  • couples/families
  • sexual abuse survivors
  • sexual assault
  • those at risk of suicide/self harm
  • Communication skills for couples
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Crisis management
  • Debriefing strategies and processes
  • Problem solving skills
  • Professional boundaries and ethics
  • Referral procedures to agencies
  • Shared case management

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects of assessment :

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over the required range of situations relevant to the workplace
  • Where, for reasons of safety, space, or access to equipment and resources, assessment takes place away from the workplace, the assessment environment should represent workplace conditions as closely as possible

Conditions of assessment :

This unit includes skills and knowledge specific to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander culture

Assessment must therefore be undertaken by a workplace assessor who has expertise in the unit of competency or who has the current qualification being assessed and who is:

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander him/herself


  • accompanied and advised by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is a recognised member of the community with experience in primary health care

Context of assessment :

  • This unit can be appropriately assessed in the workplace and under the normal range of workplace conditions or in a simulated workplace situation with the normal range of conditions to which the Social and Emotional Well Being Worker would be exposed in the workplace

Such conditions may include

  • institutional settings (e.g. rehabilitation centre)
  • one to one counselling sessions
  • family or couple counselling
  • outreach (particularly for youth)
  • opportunistic counselling (e.g. in the home when engaged in other health care such as administering medication)
  • All assessments must ensure that the personal safety of the worker and the client is taken into consideration when demonstrating the competencies
  • Assessment must take account of the practice of counselling
  • Assessment must take into consideration the cultural safety aspects of counselling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and this must be demonstrated by the worker
    In support of this the assessor must be also be aware of the characteristics of, and practice cultural safety in their own assessment processes

Method of assessment :

  • In making the holistic assessment of the performance criteria in this unit it is essential that observation is made of the worker undertaking counselling with clients, either in the workplace, or in a simulated workplace with access to the full range of workplace conditions and clients with whom the counselling will take place
  • Assessment must include observation of counselling for at least three of the following groups:
  • children
  • youth
  • couples or families
  • survivors of sexual abuse
  • at risk of self harm/suicide
  • trauma survivors (particularly Stolen Generations/Removed Generations)

Related units :

This unit may be assessed independently or in conjunction with other units with associated workplace application

Range Statement


The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Cultural respect 

This competency standard supports the recognition, protection and continued advancement of the inherent rights, cultures and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

It recognises that the improvement of the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must include attention to physical, spiritual, cultural, emotional and social wellbeing, community capacity and governance

Its application must be culturally sensitive and supportive of traditional healing and health, knowledge and practices

Community control 

Community participation and control in decision-making is essential to all aspects of health work, and the role of the health worker is to support the community in this process


Supervision must be conducted in accordance with prevailing state/territory and organisation legislative and regulatory requirements

References to supervision may include either direct or indirect supervision of work by more experienced workers, supervisors, managers or other health professionals

A person at this level should only  be required to make decisions about clients within the organisation's standard treatment protocols and associated guidelines

Legislative requirements 

Federal, state or territory legislation may impact on workers' practices and responsibilities. Implementation of the competency standards should reflect the legislative framework in which a health worker operates. It is recognised that this may sometimes reduce the application of the Range of Variables in practice. However, assessment in the workplace or through simulation should address all essential skills and knowledge across the Range of Variables

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers may be required to operate in situations that do not constitute "usual practice" due to lack of resources, remote locations and community needs. As a result, they may need to possess more competencies than described by "usual practice circumstances"

Under all circumstances, the employer must enable the worker to function within the prevailing legislative framework

Characteristics of clients include :

  • Addicts or recovering addicts
  • Adults
  • Children
  • Clients diagnosed with a mental illness
  • Grieving individuals, families and communities
  • People who have limited schooling
  • People with English as a second or third language
  • Stolen generations
  • Survivors of sexual abuse
  • Victims of sexual assault
  • Victims of trauma, domestic/family violence, assault or abuse
  • Youth

... and may include :

  • Older people
  • People who have issues of identity (sexual, cultural)
  • People with disabilities
  • Unemployed

Services include :

  • Advocacy
  • Counselling
  • Crisis intervention
  • Debriefing
  • Early intervention/prevention
  • Liaising between agencies
  • Medication monitoring
  • Referral
  • Shared case management
  • Support and management

Stakeholders include :

  • Community elders
  • Families, carers, friends
  • Individuals
  • Traditional healers

... and may include :

  • Aboriginal Legal Services (Stolen Generations issues)
  • Emergency services - police, ambulance
  • Employers (Aboriginal Medical Services, Community Centres)
  • Government departments and agencies providing support services in sexual assault, trauma, financial support, counselling, child protection, health, housing, justice
  • Vocational training organisations

Organisation policies and processes may include :

  • Emergency procedures
  • Freedom of information policy
  • OH&S procedures
  • Practice guidelines for social and emotional well being workers
  • Referral procedures

Linked agencies may include :

  • Aboriginal Medical Services
  • Accommodation
  • Crisis services such as Kids Help Line, Samaritans, Anglicare, Refuges, Sobering Up Shelters
  • Department of Social Security /Centrelink
  • Emergency services such as police and hospital
  • Employment services and support
  • Family and Children's Services or equivalent
  • Financial assistance agencies (e.g. family and children's services)
  • Health Department
  • Mental health services
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Sexual Assault Counselling Services

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable

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