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About the Department
The Department of Social Work is located in the College of Liberal Arts, one of the six undergraduate colleges/schools at Wright State University. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This assures that the curriculum and faculty meet established national standards. The degree in social work from an accredited educational institution is a prerequisite to applying for the Ohio social work license (www.cswmft.ohio.gov).
The Bachelor of Arts program in social work prepares students for beginning employment in social work or for graduate study. If you are considering social work as a career, you should be interested in people of widely varying ages, abilities, and backgrounds. You need to be disciplined, emotionally stable, and intellectually creative. Social workers typically find employment in family services, children's services, public schools, hospitals, mental health centers, and probation and parole boards. While most social workers perform direct practice duties, others are employed as outreach workers, community organizers, and administrators in public, voluntary, and for-profit agencies. Newer fields are also opening up for social workers, such as services to older adults.
The social work program is student-centered in that we believe our academic environment must provide a safe atmosphere for our students to take risks. We are dedicated to preparing ethical and competent practitioners who operate from an empowerment and strengths perspective as they work with individuals, families, groups, and communities for social and economic justice. Additionally, the social work program strives to prepare you to be a life-long learner who continues to make contributions to the profession.
The Social Work Department at Wright State University is dedicated to preparing ethical, competent, creative, and critically thinking generalist practitioners who pursue their work from a social justice perspective. The program strives to prepare students who are self-aware life-long learners, who deliver culturally competent interventions, and who are optimistic about their abilities to promote well-being through all levels of social intervention.
- Prepare students to be professional, ethical, and competent generalist social workers as measured by Competencies and Behaviors.
- Prepare students to practice without discrimination and be advocates for social justice as measured by Competencies and Behaviors.
- Prepare students with generalist knowledge, skills, and values foundation as measured by Competencies and Behaviors.
Wright State University Master of Arts in Social Work Mission
The mission of the Wright State University Master of Arts in Social Work is to prepare students to become advanced generalist professionals. Graduates will be lifelong learners and leaders, contribute to the profession of social work through advanced generalist practice which emphasizes effective practice and policy skill development to promote diversity and cultural competency, social and economic justice, reduce oppression, and improve the broader human condition.
Wright State University Master of Arts in Social Work Goals
- Prepare graduates to contribute to the profession of social work.
- Prepare graduates to promote diversity and cultural competence.
- Prepare graduates to promote social and economic justice.
- Prepare graduates to reduce oppression at the local, state, national, and global levels.
- Prepare graduates to improve the broader human condition.
Social work is the professional activity of helping individuals, groups, or communities enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and creating societal conditions favorable to this goal. Social work practice consists of the professional application of social work values, principles, and techniques to one or more of the following ends: helping people obtain tangible services; counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; helping communities or groups provide or improve processes. The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; of social, economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interactions of all these factors.
Social work is concerned and involved with the interactions between people and the institutions of society that affect the ability of people to accomplish life tasks, realize aspirations and values, and alleviate distress. These interactions between people and social institutions occur within the context of the larger societal good. Therefore, three major purposes of social work may be identified:
- to enhance the problem-solving, coping and developmental capacities of people;
- to promote the effective and humane operation of the systems that provide people with resources and services;
- to link people with systems that provide them with resources, services, and opportunities.
Generalist Social Work Practice
"Generalist social workers work directly with client systems at all levels, connect clients to available resources, intervene with organizations to enhance the responsiveness of resource systems, advocate just social policies to ensure the equitable distribution of resources, and research all aspects of social work practice.
Generalist Social Work Practice:
- Utilizes generic practice processes to organize work with client systems
- Recognizes the potential for change at multiple system levels-within human systems, and among environmental systems
- Views human behavior in the context of the social environment
- Integrates direct practice with social policy and social work research activities"
Taken from Dubois, B., & Miley, K. (2013). Social work: An empowering profession. 8th ed. Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon, p. 7.
Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice
The core component of the Master of Arts in Social Work program is the concept of advanced generalist professionals. We define advanced generalist professional as a person who uses critical thinking skills and differential application of advanced social work knowledge, theories, skills, values, and ethics in the assessment of and intervention with micro, mezzo, and macro-level systems.
The advanced generalist MSW professional:
- Is prepared to meet the needs of all clients
- Focuses on culturally competent, ethical practice that ranges from case management and clinical practice with individuals, families and groups through organizational administration and change, policy development, and community practice.
- Is prepared to assume leadership in both direct and indirect practice settings.
- Is committed to improving the lives of clients and the social work profession.
- Is committed to social and economic justice.
- Is committed to the implementation of evidence-based practices.
- Is committed to understanding and applying multi-modal strategies based on a holistic assessment of the client situation as defined mutually by client and action systems.
- Applies a global perspective in understanding the context of oppression, promotion of social work values, and the promotion of universal human rights.
Competencies and Behaviors
9 Competencies and 31 Behaviors
- Competency 1 - Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
- 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.
- Competency 2 - Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
- 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.
- Competency 3 - Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
- apply their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the individual and system levels; and
- engage in practices that advance social, economic, and environmental justice.
- Competency 4 - Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
- 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.
- Competency 5 - Engage in Policy Practice
- 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
- 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.
- Competency 7 - Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- 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.
- Competency 8 - Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- 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.
- Competency 9 - Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- 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; and
- apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
Master of Social Work Accreditation