BSW student handbook | University of Nevada, Reno

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Given the centrality of professionalism to the practice of social work, the School of Social Work believes that professional integrity and behavior should begin as early as the first social work course. Due to the emphasis placed upon professional integrity and behavior, the School has established a set of policies that govern academic performance. These policies are uniform across programs and sequences. Underlying all of these policies are standards for behaviors that either guide conduct at UNR or guide the practice of social work. Students should be familiar with the following standards:

CSWE’s core competencies and practice behaviors

Life Experience

In accordance with CSWE accreditation standards, academic credit for life experience and previous work experience is not given under any circumstance.

Academic integrity

The School of Social Work adheres to the University of Nevada, Reno Academic Standards Policy for Students concerning issues of academic integrity. Please see the UNR website for a complete description, definitions and policies regarding class conduct and academic dishonesty.

Accommodation for students with disabilities

Students who require additional support due to disabling conditions should discuss their needs with their instructors at the start of each semester. Accommodations for all reasonable requests will be made for documented disabling conditions. In addition, students are encouraged to contact the University Disability Resource Center at (775) 784-6000 to access a range of supportive services.

Attendance policy

The faculty of the School of Social Work believes that classroom attendance and participation are critical aspects of professional socialization. Students are responsible for assisting in the creation of a learning environment that promotes such socialization. To do so, students should assume responsibility for their own learning and be engaged within the course room. It is expected for students to log into the online classroom a minimum of three times a week to be successfully engaged. Attendance and participation will be part of grading, as determined by the course instructor. Opportunities for make-up assignments are determined at the discretion of individual instructors.

Confidentiality of case material outside of an agency

NASW Code of Ethics requirements regarding confidentiality of client information extend to the use of confidential information from field work in classes, seminars and in student assignments. Students may not divulge client, collateral or collegial information, disguising all names, demographic information and any case details that might identify a client or co-worker. Client files and records should never be removed from the agency for any purpose.

Nondiscrimination policy

The programs of the UNR School of Social Work are conducted without discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, creed, ethnic or national origin, disability, political orientation, or sexual orientation. This policy applies to the baccalaureate and master’s programs, the field education program, and all admission, employment, and financial aid decisions.

Retention

In its description of the Social Work major, the University of Nevada, Reno catalog states that:

“The admission and retention of students in the program is subject to the professional judgment of the social work faculty.”

Retention in the MSW Program at UNR is based on student performance in two general areas: academics and adherence to professional values and standards of behavior. Retention in the social work major requires students and maintain a 3.0 (B) overall grade point average—with a letter grade of “C” or higher in each of the graduate course, including the required 3 credits of electives. Additionally, students must adhere to the academic and professional standards outlined in the University’s Student Handbook for Student Code of Conduct, the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics, and the State Board of Examiners for Social Workers Standards of Practice.

Remediation and termination policy

The School of Social Work encourages students, staff, faculty, field instructors, and faculty liaisons to deal directly with concerns as they arise. The Remediation and Termination policy is applied when previous attempts to address an issue have not been successful. Concerns may include, but are not limited to, academic integrity, academic achievement (including field practicum achievement), and/or student conduct. As discussed below, the policy is applied in two phases. The first phase explores the situation further, while the second phase sets out to resolve the situation.

Exceptions to the procedures described below are allowed in cases where students have engaged in particularly egregious conduct, for example ethical or legal misconduct, actual or threatened physical or verbal aggression, academic dishonesty, or refusal to implement the recommended Action Plan. In such instances, the Remediation Committee may refer the student directly to the appropriate administrative, medical, and/or legal authorities.

Concerns are addressed according to two categories:

Low-Level Concerns include but are not limited to behaviors in which there is:

  • No evidence of harm or risk of harm to self or others, agency or university
  • A specific identifiable problem area
  • Demonstrated student awareness, initiative, and ability to resolve the issue
  • Evidence that the impact is limited to the student directly involved in the issue

High-Level Concerns include, but are not limited to, behaviors in which there is/are:

  • Evidence of harm or risk of harm to self, others, agency or university
  • Direct violation of UNR Student Code of Conduct, NASW Code of Ethics, agency policies or standards, other relevant policies governing social work practice
  • Failure to demonstrate minimal level of competency on one or more of the CSWE and/or
  • AGP identified practice behaviors
  • Diffuse concerns and which affect multiple aspects of the learning environment
  • Concern regarding how the student’s behavior negatively impacts the learning environment for others
  • Concern for a student already on remediation status- who failed to successfully remediate through his/her Action Plan
  • Situations where additional performance concerns arise for a student currently or previously on remediation status

The following steps are employed to understand the situation further:

Phase One – Problem exploration and clarification

  1. The Remediation Committee is convened specific to the student concern. The committee is convened by the BSW, MSW or Field Program Coordinator and includes the faculty member involved, the student’s advisor(s), and any other University professional deemed appropriate given the nature of the concern;
  2. The Remediation Committee identifies the relevant social work competency(ies) and associated practice behavior(s) that are not being demonstrated, and/or the professional ethical standard(s), agency standards/policies (i.e. HIPAA) and/or University standards for student conduct that are in question;
  3. Student is notified of the concern(s) and Remediation Committee’s assessment within 2 working days of the committee meeting and is invited to meet with the committee;
  4. Student meets with members of the Remediation Committee to discuss the concern; and
  5. Remediation committee determines:

    1. No concern present, no further action needed; or
    2. Level of concern is identified and student is placed on remediation status by Remediation Committee (proceed to Phase Two of the policy).

Should the student not agree with the Remediation Committee’s assessment of the concern, they may grieve the decision (see grievance procedure).

Phase Two – Remediation

Once the situation and concerns have been identified, the remediation committee will work with the student through a series of decision points. 

*An executive session is a closed meeting of the faculty of the whole in which student performance issues and/or progress are addressed.

Foundation competencies & associated practice behaviors

Competency 1: Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior

Social workers understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards, as well as relevant laws and regulations that may impact practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Social workers understand frameworks of ethical decision-making and how to apply principles of critical thinking to those frameworks in practice, research, and policy arenas. Social workers recognize personal values and the distinction between personal and professional values. They also understand how their personal experiences and affective reactions influence their professional judgment and behavior. Social workers understand the profession’s history, its mission, and the roles and responsibilities of the profession. Social Workers also understand the role of other professions when engaged in inter-professional teams. Social workers recognize the importance of life-long learning and are committed to continually updating their skills to ensure they are relevant and effective. Social workers also understand emerging forms of technology and the ethical use of technology in social work practice.

Foundation practice behaviors

  • 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.
  • Use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior.

Competency 2: Engage diversity and difference in practice

Social workers understand how diversity and difference characterize and shape the human experience and are critical to the formation of identity. The dimensions of diversity are understood as the intersectionality of multiple factors including but not limited to age, class, color, culture, disability and ability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, marital status, political ideology, race, religion/spirituality, sex, sexual orientation, and tribal sovereign status. Social workers understand that, as a consequence of difference, a person’s life experiences may include oppression, poverty, marginalization, and alienation as well as privilege, power, and acclaim. Social workers also understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values, including social, economic, political, and cultural exclusions, may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create privilege and power.

Foundation practice behaviors

  • 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.
  • Apply self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse clients and constituencies.

Competency 3: Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice

Social workers understand that every person regardless of position in society has fundamental human rights such as freedom, safety, privacy, an adequate standard of living, health care, and education. Social workers understand the global interconnections of oppression and human rights violations, and are knowledgeable about theories of human need and social justice and strategies to promote social and economic justice and human rights. Social workers understand strategies designed to eliminate oppressive structural barriers to ensure that social goods, rights, and responsibilities are distributed equitably and that civil, political, environmental, economic, social, and cultural human rights are protected.

Foundation practice behaviors

  • Apply their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the individual and system levels.
  • Engage in practices that advance social, economic, and environmental justice.

Competency 4: Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice

Social workers understand quantitative and qualitative research methods and their respective roles in advancing a science of social work and in evaluating their practice. Social workers know the principles of logic, scientific inquiry, and culturally informed and ethical approaches to building knowledge. Social workers understand that evidence that informs practice derives from multi- disciplinary sources and multiple ways of knowing. They also understand the processes for translating research findings into effective practice.

Foundation practice behaviors

  • 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.
  • Use and translate research evidence to inform and improve practice, policy, and service delivery.

Competency 5: Engage in policy practice

Social workers understand that human rights and social justice, as well as social welfare and services, are mediated by policy and its implementation at the federal, state, and local levels. Social workers understand the history and current structures of social policies and services, the role of policy in service delivery, and the role of practice in policy development. Social workers understand their role in policy development and implementation within their practice settings at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels and they actively engage in policy practice to effect change within those settings. Social workers recognize and understand the historical, social, cultural, economic, organizational, environmental, and global influences that affect social policy. They are also knowledgeable about policy formulation, analysis, implementation, and evaluation.

Foundation practice behaviors

  • Identify social policy at the local, state, and federal level that impacts well-being, service delivery, and access to social services.
  • Assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services.
  • Apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.

Competency 6: Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Social workers understand that engagement is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers value the importance of human relationships. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge to facilitate engagement with clients and constituencies, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers understand strategies to engage diverse clients and constituencies to advance practice effectiveness.

Foundation practice behaviors

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

Competency 7: Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Social workers understand that assessment is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge in the assessment of diverse clients and constituencies, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers understand methods of assessment with diverse clients and constituencies to advance practice effectiveness. Social workers recognize the implications of the larger practice context in the assessment process and value the importance of inter-professional collaboration in this process. Social workers understand how their personal experiences and affective reactions may affect their assessment and decision-making.

Foundation practice behaviors

  • 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.
  • Select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research knowledge, and values and preferences of clients and constituencies.

Competency 8: Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Social workers understand that intervention is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers are knowledgeable about evidence-informed interventions to achieve the goals of clients and constituencies, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge to effectively intervene with clients and constituencies. Social workers understand methods of identifying, analyzing and implementing evidence-informed interventions to achieve client and constituency goals. Social workers value the importance of interprofessional teamwork and communication in interventions, recognizing that beneficial outcomes may require interdisciplinary, interprofessional, and inter-organizational collaboration.

Foundation practice behaviors

  • 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.
  • Facilitate effective transitions and endings that advance mutually agreed-on goals.

Competency 9: Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Social workers understand that evaluation is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Social workers recognize the importance of evaluating processes and outcomes to advance practice, policy, and service delivery effectiveness. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge in evaluating outcomes. Social workers understand qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluating outcomes and practice effectiveness.

Foundation practice behaviors

  • Select and use appropriate methods for evaluation of outcomes.
  • Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the evaluation of outcomes.
  • Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate intervention and program processes and outcomes.
  • Apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.

Social work course descriptions

SW 101 Introduction to Social Work (3+0) 3 credits.

This course is designed to introduce students to the profession of social work. The course includes a historical overview of social welfare and its institutions and the coinciding evolution of professional social work. The course acquaints students with the history, philosophy, values, and knowledge base of the social work profession. The course emphasizes human diversity, generalist interventions, and fields of practice.

SW 250 Social Welfare History and Policy (3+0) 3 credits.

This course explores the historical development of the social work profession and current policies governing the social service delivery system within the United States. Social policy is presented as a social construction influenced by a range of ideologies and interests. Special attention is paid to social welfare policy and programs relevant to the practice of social work, including poverty, child and family well-being, mental and physical disability, health, and racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities. The course includes a focus on the role of policy in creating, maintaining or eradicating social inequities. Prerequisites: SW 101

SW 310 HBSE I Structural Factors and Macro Systems (3+0) 3 credits.

This is the first course in a two course sequence that promotes a multidimensional understanding of human functioning and behavior across systems and the life course. This course specifically examines human behavior manifested in larger systems as well as the reciprocal relationship between individual functioning and social institutions. In particular, the course orients students to social work perspectives that view human behavior as being influenced and impinged upon by environmental forces. The course advances students’ ability to critically examine the role of power, privilege and oppression in shaping life experiences.

Prerequisites: SW 101, SW 250, Anth 101, Psy 101, Soc 101, Biol 100, Econ 100, 102, or 103, and CH 203.

SW 311 HBSE II Micro and Mezzo Systems (3+0) 3 credits.

This is the second course in a two-course sequence that promotes a multidimensional understanding of human functioning and behavior across systems and the life course. This course specifically examines human behavior and functioning among individuals and families. In particular, the course emphasizes an evidence-informed approach to assessing human functioning. The course advances students’ ability to critically apply a range of theories and research to better understand and assess human behavior and development.

Prerequisite: SW 310.

SW 321 Basics of Professional Communication (2+3) 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the development of basic communication and observational skills needed for subsequent social work methods courses. Communication topics to be addressed include: active listening, questioning, empathetic responding, paraphrasing, summarizing, persuasive writing, and non-verbal communication. Emphasis will be placed on developing observation and communication skills that capture events in ways that are descriptive, accurate, and unbiased. Given the importance of nonjudgmental and unbiased communication to rapport, the course will examine the role of power differentials, gender, culture, class, context, and ethnicity/race on professional communication.

Prerequisites: SW 101, SW 250, Eng 101, Eng 102, Psy 101, and Soc 101.

SW 351 The Global Context of Social Work (3+0) 3 credits

This course examines the historical, political and cultural contexts of contemporary global social issues and the mutually reinforcing relationship between the local and global. The course will critically examine the economic, political, social and cultural dimensions of globalization and the upheavals they produce for nations and people. Specific models of intervention and select approaches to social development, seen as more compatible with social work’s commitment to social justice will also be examined to determine their respective strengths and weaknesses in response to some of these contemporary social issues. In addition, the course will also raise critical questions about social work’s past and present ability to address the growing challenges of an increasingly complex, integrated and interdependent world.

Prerequisites: SW 250

SW 420 Social Work Methods with Individuals (3+0) 3 credits

This course is one of a four-course sequence that emphasizes the competent application of skills, knowledge and values to social work practice. This course focuses on developing competency in intervening with individuals. Students will learn how to engage in each stage of the social work intervention process with individuals, including: rapport building, exploration, assessment, planning, implementation, goal attainment, evaluation and termination. This course furthers students’ understanding of the strengths-based, generalist social work perspective, in particular students will learn the various roles social workers may play in work with individuals. Special emphasis is placed on analyzing the ways in which client characteristics (i.e., biological, psychological and socioeconomic factors as well as class, gender, ethnicity, culture, and sexual orientation) interact with the resources and demands of the environment in identifying appropriate intervention strategies. Students will be asked to use critical thinking skills to identify and implement interventions with individuals that are evidenced-informed, as well as contextually and culturally relevant.

Prerequisite: Admission to the professional sequence, Co-requisites SW 424 and SW 480.

SW 421 Social Work Methods with Groups (3+0) 3 credits

This course is one of a four-course sequence that emphasizes the competent application of skills, knowledge and values to social work practice. This course focuses on developing competency in intervening with small groups. Students will learn how to engage in each stage of the social work intervention process with groups, including: formation, initial/beginning stage, middle stage, termination stage and evaluation. Students will continue their use of an evidence-informed approach to practice through identification and critique of group curriculums. Special emphasis is placed on analyzing the ways in which member characteristics (i.e., biological, psychological and socioeconomic factors as well as class, gender, ethnicity, culture, and sexual orientation) influence communication, interaction and dynamics within groups.

Prerequisite: SW 420. Co-requisite: SW 481.

SW 424 Social Work Methods with Couples and Families (3+0) 3 credits

This course is one of a four-course sequence that emphasizes the competent application of skills, knowledge and values to social work practice. This course focuses on developing competency in intervening with couples and families. Students will learn how to engage in each stage of the social work intervention process with couples and families, including: rapport building, exploration, assessment, planning, implementation, goal attainment, evaluation and termination. This course furthers students’ understanding of the strengths-based, generalist social work perspective. Special emphasis is placed on analyzing the ways in which client characteristics (i.e., biological, psychological and socioeconomic factors as well as class, gender, ethnicity, culture, and sexual orientation) interact with the resources and demands of the environment in identifying appropriate intervention strategies. Students will be asked to use critical thinking skills to identify and implement interventions with couples and families that are evidenced-informed, as well as contextually and culturally relevant.

Prerequisite: Admission to the professional sequence.

SW 427 Social Work Methods with Organizations, Communities and Legislatures (3+0) 3 credits

This course is one of a four-course sequence that emphasizes the competent application of skills, knowledge and values to social work practice. This course focuses on developing competency in working with organizations, communities and legislative bodies. This course furthers the understanding of the strengths-based, generalist social work perspective. In this course students will learn public speaking, elements of grant writing, budgeting, advocacy, lobbying and written and oral persuasion techniques as methods of assessing and responding to community and organizational issues. Students will learn to attend to the cultural, ideological, and diverse nuances present in large groups of people and within complex problems while maintaining a critically reflexive position in relation to their own culture, privilege, ideology, personal values, and biases. Students will be asked to use critical thinking skills to identify and implement interventions with organizations and communities that are evidenced-informed, as well as contextually and culturally relevant.

Prerequisite: Admission to the professional sequence.

SW 440 Introduction to Social Work Research (3+0) 3 credits

This course examines concepts, principles, and methods of scientific inquiry, emphasizing qualitative and quantitative designs, assessment of practice and program effectiveness, and critical use of existing research.

This course acquaints students with the scientific methods used in social work research used to build knowledge and evaluate the impact of social work practice and policy. Goals of the course include 1) inspiring students to value research as an integral part of social work practice; 2) fostering an understanding of evidence-based practice as a “process of inquiry,” and 3) encouraging students to question the empirical foundations of “best practices” in relation to client intervention strategies and social services programs. Additionally, the course introduces cultural and ethical issues present in all research endeavors and the unique issues involved in studying special populations and populations at risk.

Prerequisite: Admission to the professional sequence or permission of the instructor. 

SW 441 Data Analysis for Social Workers (3+0) 3 credits

This course introduces students to the concepts, principles, and procedures social work researchers and practitioners use analyze and present data. Emphasis is placed on developing the knowledge, values, and skills needed to analyze and interpret one’s own research data and to critically evaluate the research findings of others. Instruction in computer-assisted quantitative (SPSS) and qualitative (Microsoft Word) data analyses and presentation (PowerPoint) approaches is provided. Prerequisite: SW 440 or permission of instructor.

SW 480 Field Experience in Social Work I (1+15) 6 credits, S/U only

Students attend a weekly 50-minute on-campus seminar as part of the agency based practicum.
The seminar utilizes group processes of discussion and analysis to help students integrate what they are learning in the field placement with what they are learning in their classroom based curriculum. The topics that students address in SW 480 reflect their level of professional development. For example, students in SW 480 typically raise questions about how to introduce themselves to clients and whether or not to disclose that they are students. Prerequisite: admission to the professional sequence. Co-requisite: SW 420.

SW 481 Field Experience in Social Work II (1+15) 6 credits, S/U only

Students attend a weekly 50-minute on-campus seminar as part of the agency based practicum.
The seminar utilizes group processes of discussion and analysis to help students integrate what they are learning in the field placement with what they are learning in their classroom based curriculum. Prerequisite: SW 480. Co-requisite: SW 421.

Social work elective course descriptions

SW 230 Crisis Intervention (3+0) 3 credits

This is an introductory course to the theory and application of crisis intervention. Theory will include the individual, family and community role of crisis development and resolution. Analysis of types of crisis theory, effects of crisis on the community, methods of and community resources for crisis intervention.

SW 461 Social Services in Death, Dying and Bereavement (3+0) 3 Credits

This course is designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of the processes of dying, death, and bereavement. Emphasis is placed on increasing awareness of the personal, societal, legal, ethical, historical, theoretical, and cultural factors that influence attitudes and behaviors surrounding death. Focus is placed on expanding and refining the knowledge and skills involved in providing direct support, as well as referral services to individuals, families, and communities experiencing loss. Prerequisite: SW 321 or permission of instructor.

SW 462 Lesbian and Gay Lives (3+0) 3 credits

This course examines disciplinary perspectives used in understanding the experiences of homosexual people in America. Queer persons are found everywhere, among all categories of people according to: class, culture, gender, and age. They are labeled in a variety of ways, including “lesbian,” “gay,” “homosexual,” “bisexual,” “transgender,” and “queer.” Historically, persons so labeled have been mistreated by society, but nonetheless have made significant contributions. To explore queer lives, theoretical topics will be examined across academic disciplines. This approach allows students from a variety of majors to examine queer issues in their own and in other fields through the framework of a single course. Class participants are expected to develop new insights and knowledge, using current research and theory from a variety of academic perspectives, and to examine more critically their own views. In addition, through learning about the historical development of homophobia and heterosexism, the contributions of lesbian and gay people, and the development of queer communities, students will have the opportunity to understand and appreciate “difference” as another contribution to American society. (General capstone and diversity course.)

SW 463 Social Work in Health Care Settings: Underserved Populations (3+0) 3 Credits

This course provides an overview of the organization, structure, and operation of health care in the United States. The need for fundamental changes in the organization, financing, delivery, and control of health services is examined, as are current and future directions in health care. Within this framework, the major focus of Health Care Services is on the influences of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, and sexual orientation on health models, health beliefs and behaviors, health status, and the sue of health services. Social, economic, environmental and cultural variations are presented to insure a greater understanding of health care issues and services necessary to meet the needs of the total U.S. population. Prerequisite: SW 321 or permission of instructor. (Diversity Course)

SW 465 Social Work Programs and Services for Older Adults (3+0) 3 credits

This course covers the issues faced by older adults, and the policies and programs created to help them. It will look at aging demographics, the implications on our society and the policies, programs and services for the older population from a historical, observational, practical and analytical perspective. The course is directed toward raising student’s awareness of aging issues and the programs and services provided through the Older Americans Act and the Social Security Act. The exposure to the content areas presented in this course will enable students to become more proficient in their understanding of social services, health care, housing and other elements of community and institutional long-term care systems serving the older population.

Prerequisite: SW 321 or permission of instructor.

SW 466 Disability: Social and Health Issues (3+0) 3 Credits

This course is designed to prepare students for generalist practice with emphasis on social and health issues that impact on people with disabilities across the life span. Theories of human behavior, best-practice models, important government policies, and current research studies that are relevant to professional service to individuals with disabilities are presented. A number of specific disabilities will be discussed with attention to the needs associated with each.

(General capstone and diversity course.)

SW 467 Women: Biographies and Issues (3+0) 3 credits

This course explores the relationship between women’s personal biographies and the social, historic, and economic context of their lives. The course begins with a study of historic and cultural representations of women, and goes on to address contemporary topics including women’s bodies; sexuality and desire; their experience with the medical establishment; generational narratives; the diversity of women’s lives across race, class, sexual orientation, and culture; women’s work and activism in the context of economic globalization; and current public policy affecting women such as welfare reform. Students will have an opportunity to draw on their experiences (their personal biographies) and explore their meanings in cultural and historic context. The course features a wide range of learning resources including art, poetry, literature, film, music, historic narratives, and political and economic discourses. (General capstone and diversity.)

SW 468 The Child in the Community (3+0) 3 Credits

This course, an elective for social work students, is intended to develop the student’s understanding of the history, values, theory, goals, policies, current trends, and practice in the field of child welfare. We will spend time on the development of skills in the assessment and case management of families who are referred to the child welfare system. Social work intervention at all stages and levels of child welfare practice will be explored, including family-centered casework process and planning, interventions within the social service delivery system, and efforts to effect policy and organizational change on the local, state, and national levels. Prerequisite: SW 321 or permission of instructor.

SW 470 Social Service Delivery Systems in Ghana (3+0) 3 Credits

This course provides a critical review of formal and informal social service delivery systems in Ghana. Students will develop an understanding of major economic, cultural, and social welfare issues impacting individuals and families in Ghana such as poverty, aging, child abuse, street children, and teen pregnancy. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the prevention, intervention and treatment models utilized by Ghanaian social service workers and service planners. They will observe and participate in a service-learning project with local community-based agencies and engage with governmental and/or Non-Government Organizations’ service providers to deepen their understanding of social service systems.

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