Social Work in the Military – SOWK 435

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the knowledge, values, and skills associated with working with individuals, families, and communities impacted by military operations. Topics will include the effects of multiple deployments, experiencing traumatic events, and military culture.


SOWK 101 and SOWK 270


SOWK 435, Social Work in the Military, is an important course for social work students interested in engaging with the military population. The military population includes those who currently serve or have served, and their families. Knowledge of military culture, problems unique to the military, and strategies for helping military affiliated individuals, couples, families, and groups will be explored in this course.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Engage in career-long learning.
  2. Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge and practice wisdom.
  3. Recognize and communicate his/her understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences.
  4. View himself/herself as a learner and engage those with whom he/she works as informants.
  5. Use research evidence to inform practice.
  6. Critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.
  7. Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services.
  8. Substantively and effectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  9. Assess client strengths and needs using a Biopsychosocial-Spiritual Model.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 250–300 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, integrate at least 1 biblical principle, and include 2 scholarly references. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 100–125 words and include 1 scholarly reference.

Movie Review

The student will apply his/her knowledge of the military, and social work with a military population, by viewing a movie (as approved by the instructor) pertaining to service members or veterans, and reviewing the movie in a 4–6-page paper in current APA format. No abstract is required, but a title page and reference page(s) are required. The focus of the review will be on analyzing the impact that military service has had on the military character, and evaluating how a social worker can support this individual. In assessing the client from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective, some questions to answer include: What concerns and challenges does the character face as a result of military service? What role does or could faith play in this person’s life? How might a social worker assist this individual with getting needs met and meeting goals? Etc.

Research Paper

The student will write an 8–10-page (including title page, abstract, and reference page) research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on social work with military, veterans, or their families in 1 of the following areas: Deployments, Trauma, Substance Abuse, Suicide, Traumatic Brain Injury, Homelessness, or Reintegration. The paper must include at least 10 scholarly references (text book or journal articles) in addition to the course textbook and the Bible. After selecting a topic, the student will evaluate this topic with a focus on: understanding the person in the environment, assessing an individual’s strengths and needs in these circumstances, and preparing to work with a military veteran, or military family facing one of these circumstances. The Christian faith must be integrated into this paper.

Exams (2)

There are 2 exams in this course. The Midterm Exam covers textbook readings assigned in Modules/Weeks 1–4, and the Final Exam covers textbook readings assigned in Modules/Weeks 5–8. Each exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 44 multiple-choice, true/false, and short answer questions, and have a 1-hour time limit.