Social Work in the Military – SOWK 435

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 05/30/2022

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.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


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.

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 the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

The student will complete 4 Discussions in this course. The student will post one thread of at least 250-300 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday day of the assigned Module. The student must then post 2 replies of at least 100-125 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of the assigned Module. For each thread, students must demonstrate course-related knowledge, integrate at least 1 biblical principle, and include 2 scholarly references in APA format. Each reply must incorporate at least 1 scholarly citation in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include the textbook, the Bible, and other scholarly sources.

Quiz: Movie Review Approval

Submit your selected movie for the Movie Review Assignment for your instructor's approval. 

Movie Review Assignment

For this assignment, you will apply your knowledge of the military, and social work with a military population, by viewing a movie (as approved by the instructor) and reviewing the movie.

  • This paper should be 4–6 pages long.
    • No abstract is required, but a title page and reference page are required.
  • This paper should be written in current APA format.

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 consider 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. Forrest Gump is available for order via MBS if you wish to choose it as the subject of your review.

Research Paper Assignment

The student will write a research-based paper that focuses on social work with military, veterans, or their families in one of the following areas:

Deployments, Trauma, Substance Abuse, Suicide, Traumatic Brain Injury, Homelessness, or Reintegration

  • This paper should be 8–10-pages long.
    • Include a title page, abstract, and reference page. These do not count toward the page count however.
  • This paper should be written in current APA format.
  • Include at least 10 scholarly references.
  • Use the textbook or journal articles, in addition to the course textbook and Bible as references for this paper.

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.

This paper needs to demonstrate an ability to assess the client, including the client in the environment, and develop a strong conceptualization of the client. A client conceptualization is simply how you view that client, considering all of the information that is available at that time.

Along with client conceptualization, the paper must include how you (the social worker) would prepare to work with this family as well as what work could be done. The paper should show that you’ve thoughtfully analyzed the client and determined some ways that you could help as the social worker. Please work to ensure that your approach also addresses potential spiritual needs, as well as an integrated approach that demonstrates how your own faith influences the work.

Quizzes (2)

The Quiz: Midterm covers textbook readings assigned in Module 1: Week 1 – Module 4: Week 4, and the Quiz: Final covers textbook readings assigned in Module 5: Week 5 – Module 8: Week 8. Each exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 50 multiple-choice, true/false, and short answer questions, and will have a 1 hour and 30 minute time limit.