Social Work Practice with Diverse Populations – SOWK 450

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

Course Description

This course provides the student with the opportunity to develop an understanding of theories, knowledge, values, and skills in relation to generalist practice with diverse populations. This course also provides the forum for students to gain an understanding of cultural values of individuals and the impact of those values on human relationships. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of respecting and valuing diversity.

Prerequisites

GLST 220 and (SOWK 294 or Social Work Gate 1 with a score of 3)

Rationale

Social workers interact with diverse populations in the areas of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation when working populations on a daily basis. This course aids the students in developing competency with diverse populations. It prepares students with foundational knowledge necessary for effective generalist social work practice.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

A.  Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior (CSWE Competency 1)

  • Make ethical decisions by applying the standards of the NASW Code of Ethics, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision-making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics as appropriate to context;
  • Use reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism in practice situations;
  • Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and oral, written and electronic communication
  •  Use technology ethically and appropriately to facilitate practice outcomes; and
  • Use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior

B.  Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice (CSWE Competency 2)

  • Apply and communicate understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels;
  • Present themselves as learners and engage clients and constituencies as experts of their own experiences; and
  • Apply self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse clients and constituencies

C.  Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-Informed Practice (CSWE Competency 4)

  • Use practice experience and theory to inform scientific inquiry and research;
  • Apply critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods and research findings; and
  • Use and translate research evidence to inform and improve practice, policy, and service delivery.

D.  Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities (CSWE Competency 6)

  • Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies; and
  • Use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies.

E.  Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities (CSWE Competency 7)

  • Collect and organize data, and apply critical thinking to interpret information from clients and constituencies;
  • Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies;
  • Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives based on the critical assessment of strengths, needs, and challenges within clients and constituencies; and
  • Select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research knowledge, and values and preferences of clients and constituencies.

F.  Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities (CSWE Competency 8)

  • Critically choose and implement interventions to achieve practice goals and enhance capacities of clients and constituencies;
  • Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in interventions with clients and constituencies;
  • Use inter-professional collaboration as appropriate to achieve beneficial practice outcomes;
  • Negotiate, mediate, and advocate with and on behalf of diverse clients and constituencies; and
  • Facilitate effective transitions and endings that advance mutually agreed-on goals.

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.

The Course Requirement Checklist assesses Competency 1 (Ethical/Prof. Behavior).

Discussion Board Forums (3)

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 and demonstrate course-related knowledge and a biblical worldview. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 100 words. 

Discussion Board Forums assess Competency 1 (Ethical/Prof. Behavior), Competency 2 (Diversity), Competency 4 (Research), Competency 6–(Engage), Competency 7 (Assess), and Competency 8 (Intervene).

Minority Experiential Plan

The student will engage in a learning experience which will expand his/her boundaries. The student will be in an unfamiliar setting in which he/she is a racial minority. The student will do this assignment independently. The student’s plan for this project completion must be submitted and approved by the instructor prior to completion.

The Minority Experiential Plan assesses Competency 1 (Ethical/Prof. Behavior), Competency 2 (Diversity), Competency 4 (Research), and Competency 6–(Engage). 

Minority Experiential Exercise

The student is required to write an effective account of this experience in current APA format. Points will be deducted for poor spelling and grammar. The student will give a written summary of his/her experiences to the rest of the class. 

The Minority Experiential Exercise assesses  Competency 1 (Ethical/Prof. Behavior), Competency 2 (Diversity), Competency 4 (Research), and Competency 6–(Engage). 

Case Study

The student will write a response to a provided case study. The student will provide a bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessment of the case suggesting possible interventions. The student will consider a biblical worldview and how it might influence his/her assessment of the case.

The Case Study assesses Competency 1 (Ethical/Prof. Behavior), Competency 2 (Diversity), Competency 4 (Research), Competency 6–(Engage), Competency 7 (Assess), and Competency 8 (Intervene).

Cultural Research Fact Sheet

The student will prepare a cultural fact sheet on a particular population group studied in the course. This fact sheet will demonstrate the value the identified population adds to society. It will also explain the way culture’s structures may oppress or alienate the population group. The student will research and share knowledge, values, and skills that would aid in effective social work practice with a particular population group. The student will be evaluated by his/her peers as well as the instructor. A draft will also be submitted for this assignment. 

The Cultural Research Fact Sheet assesses Competency 1 (Ethical/Prof. Behavior), Competency 2 (Diversity), Competency 4 (Research), Competency 6–(Engage), Competency 7 (Assess), and Competency 8 (Intervene)

Quizzes (8)

The student will take quizzes over the assigned reading and course presentations. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice questions, and have a 20-minute time limit. There will be 8 quizzes in the course, totaling 80 points of the final course grade.

Quizzes assess Competency 1 (Ethical/Prof. Behavior), Competency 2 (Diversity), Competency 4 (Research), Competency 6–(Engage), Competency 7 (Assess), and Competency 8 (Intervene).