Concurrent with the four agency-based field placement courses, students take four classroom courses dealing with social work practice.
SWO-421A: Social Work Practice
This course exposes students to selected generalist practice theories for social workers. The course examines various levels of intervention, practice settings, and theoretical perspectives. Students are introduced to the general processes that are common to every client system level: preparation and engagement, differential use of self, assessment, contracting, intervention planning, intervention evaluation, and termination of services, which are applicable no matter the setting or client group. Considered is work with individuals, families, groups, and the social context in which these client groups exist. A special concern is the impact of diversity and oppression for client and worker. Emphasis of this class is mastering multi-level assessment. Actual practice dilemmas are examined through case discussions, videos, roleplay, and other exercises. Two consecutive semesters of SWO-421 are required: SWO-421A and SWO-421B. Students must register for the same section each semester.
SWO-421B: Social Work Practice
The second term of this course focuses on the action of social work practice and on various ways of reflecting on that action. The course continues and deepens application of the basic processes of social work practice to a wide range of issues and problems. The first term gave particular attention to a multilevel approach to assessment and intervention, and developing the skills sets that facilitate the helper-client relationship. In this term, we continue to deepen knowledge and skill in assessment, intervention, and differential use of self, while introducing a variety of practice circumstances and contexts. These include societal and family violence, trauma, substance dependence, and several theoretical and practice approaches, including cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic. We examine practice situations through case discussions, videos, roleplays and experiential exercises. Prerequisite: SWO-421A. Two consecutive semesters of SWO-421 are required: SWO-421A and SWO-421B. Students must register for the same section each semester.
SWO-424A & B: Advanced Clinical Practice
Contemporary clinical social work practice is ever-evolving and is shaped by a number of stakeholders. Within this context of transition and change sound clinical social work practice is culturally responsive, flexible and demonstrably effective, and, when appropriate, community based. Building on foundational knowledge and skills mastered from the Foundation Year social work practice course, this course has four foci: 1) professional use of self; 2) the professional/therapeutic relationship; 3) continued development and refinement of more sophisticated assessment skills; and 4) mastery of brief/time-effective approaches to intervention/treatment. The goal is for students to acquire skill sets related to a variety of practice frameworks/theoretical perspectives and to learn how to decide which particular approach is most beneficial for each specific client in achieving positive outcomes. Prerequisite: SWO-421B.