SOC6821 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK
3 Credit Hours
This course is open to students on the college level in either Freshman or Sophomore year.
SOC6821 - Introduction to Social Work (3 hrs.)
This course focuses on the historical development of social welfare, social work, and various social services. Emphasis is placed upon the multiple roles of social workers from a generalist perspective. Also addressed, are changing trends of problems in society and how they affect social work practice and the numerous social institutions in the United States.
This course is designed to help the student increase his/her knowledge concerning the social work profession. In this course, students will examine the historical development of the profession, learn the profession’s values, ethics, and practice principles. Students will also gain understanding to how social work is applied to multiple social institutions in the United States such as the health care and school system.
The learning outcomes and competencies detailed in this course procedure meet or exceed the learning outcomes and competencies specified by the Kansas Core Outcomes Groups project for this course as approved by the Kansas Board of Regents.
Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to
1. Define and describe social work- what it is, what it does and with whom, in what areas of human functioning, in what context, and with what focus.
2. Compare and contrast social work from other helping professions (e.g., psychology, psychiatry, applied sociology).
3. Identify common fields of generalist practice at the various levels of social work interventions (e.g., individuals, families, groups, organizations, and community).
4. Identify major economic, political, social, and religious factors in Euro-American history and current issues which impact social policy in the United States.
5. Identify the core professional values and ethical principles of social work, as articulated by NASW code of ethics, and contrast them to one’s personal values and ethics as well as those of broader society.
6. Identify and critically examine the philosophical and historical roots of social work and social welfare.
7. Identify and examine social and economic justice issues addressed by the social work and social welfare profession, especially those related to poverty, inequality, racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, and other forms of oppression at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
Units Outcomes and Criterion Based Evaluation Key for Core Content:
The following defines the minimum core content, not including the final examination period. Instructors may add other content as time allows.
Unit 1: The Social Work Profession
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to successfully demonstrate the ability to describe social work and the various roles and responsibilities of the profession.
- Describe the social work profession
- Explain the context and work environment of social workers
- Discuss the professional curriculum of social work and the career opportunities available to social workers
- Compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities of social workers and those of professionals with whom social workers frequently work
Unit 2: Theoretical Perspectives for Social Workers
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to successfully demonstrate the ability to explain social work theory and values.
- Discuss the relationship between systems theory and the ecosystems perspective
- Explain how ecosystems theory guides generalist social work practice
- Identify several intersecting factors spawning social justice concerns, challenging social work values
- Explain Social Darwinism and discuss how Wheatley believes it impacts global economic systems
Unit 3: Social Justice, Poverty, and the Intersectionality of Multiple Factors
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to successfully demonstrate the ability to describe the social justice system and the multitude of social justice issues which face social workers today.
- Define social justice. Describe how economic justice relates to social justice, and explain how prejudice and discrimination can interfere with their achievement
- Discuss how the intersectionality of multiple factors increases the likelihood that certain populations will experience discrimination and poverty
- Describe four potent forms of prejudice in the United States
- Identify and discuss seven major social justice issues of the 21st century
Unit 4: Social Welfare Policy: Historical Perspectives
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to successfully demonstrate the ability to discuss social welfare past and present, and the societal values represented.
- Describe how residual and institutional concepts of social welfare shaped welfare policy in the Old World and the New.
- Discuss contrasting societal values and their effect on poor relief programs in the United States
- Identify and describe three contrasting periods of American social welfare policy in the 20th century
- Discuss American social welfare policy in the 21st century and identify the societal values it reflects
Unit 5: Family and Children’s Services
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to successfully demonstrate the ability to explain the need for child social services and discuss the current services available to American families.
- Describe evidence, historical and contemporary, for the need of child protective services
- List and briefly describe seven in-home social work services for families in need and five out-of-home services.
- Explain cultural competence and why it is important in social work practice
- Describe seven shortcomings of contemporary American family policy and how certain findings in the United nations pertain to American women
Unit 6: Social Work in Mental Health
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to successfully demonstrate the ability to explain the work of social workers within mental health and how they apply their knowledge and skills across social systems.
- Explain the competencies that are needed by social workers who work in mental health settings
- Explain how social workers in mental health apply their generalist practice knowledge and skills across social systems
- Discuss the social, economic, and environmental issues that relate to mental health globally
- Trace social policy related to mental health from the colonial period of the United States to the present, paying special attention to progress within the last decade and continuing concerns for the future
Unit 7: Social Work in Health Care
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to successfully demonstrate the ability to trace the historical development of social work within healthcare and explain the reasoning for all people in the United States to have access to healthcare.
- Explain how the knowledge, values, and skills of their profession prepare social workers to be effective in the health care field
- Trace the historical development of the social work profession within healthcare from the time of the lady almoners to the present
- Explain the politics and economics surrounding the drive to ensure access to healthcare for all people in the United States
Unit 8: Social Work in the Schools
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to successfully demonstrate the ability to describe the history of social work in schools and identify the major roles of social work in the school system.
- Describe the history of social work in the schools
- Identify and discuss major social work roles in the schools
- Explain the impact of different types of diversity in the schools
- Discuss social work values in the school setting and their policy implications
UNIT 9: Social Work with Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to successfully demonstrate the ability to explain the profession’s history with substance use disorders and discuss the different models for prevention and treatment of substance use both nationally and globally.
- Explain how the profession’s history within the substance use disorders evolved over time
- Identify the critical components of professional practice
- Explain the current classification of substances that relate to substance use disorders
- Compare and contrast the models for prevention and treatment of substance use disorders globally
- Discuss the social justice and human rights issues in U.S. social welfare policy related to substance use disorders
UNIT 10: Social Work with Older Adults
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to successfully demonstrate the ability to describe the history of social work with older adults and explain the social policies relating to older adults.
- Describe the history of social work with older adults
- Identify and discuss major characteristics of older adults and their families
- Describe social policies relating to older adults, past, and present
- Identify major end-of-life issues for older adults
UNIT 11: Social Work and the Criminal Justice System
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to successfully demonstrate the ability to describe the components that make up the criminal justice system and discuss the social, economic, and environmental issues that exist within the system.
- Trace the history of the criminal justice system in the United States
- Describe the components that comprise the criminal justice system
- Explain how the profession of social work is practiced within the criminal justice system in the United States
- Discuss the social, economic, and environmental justice issues that exist in the United States criminal justice system
UNIT 12: Developmental Disabilities and Social Work
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to successfully demonstrate the ability to identify and discuss the major types of disabilities and the various social work practices involved with disabled individuals.
- Describe the history of services to people with disabilities
- Identify and discuss major types of developmental disabilities
- Describe contemporary social work practices with people who have disabilities
- Explain social justice issues that pertain to human diversity involving disability
- Discuss the disability rights movement and its causes
UNIT 13: The Social Work Profession Looks to the Future
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to successfully demonstrate the ability to identify the major social forces that are transforming the world and discuss the future for the social work profession.
- Explain how globalization affects social workers and social work practice
- Identify the major social forces that are transforming the world
- Describe what the future of the social work profession holds in terms of employment opportunities and future challenges
Contact Bookstore for current textbook.
Students should adhere to the attendance policy outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.
The grading policy will be outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.
Maximum class size:
Based on classroom occupancy
The U.S. Department of Education, Higher Learning Commission and the Kansas Board of Regents, define credit hour and have specific regulations that the college must follow when developing, teaching and assessing the educational aspects of the college. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or an equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. The number of semester hours of credit allowed for each distance education or blended hybrid courses shall be assigned by the college based on the amount of time needed to achieve the same course outcomes in a purely face-to-face format.
Refer to the following policies:
402.00 Academic Code of Conduct
263.00 Student Appeal of Course Grades
403.00 Student Code of Conduct
Disability Services Program:
Cowley College, in recognition of state and federal laws, will accommodate a student with a documented disability. If a student has a disability, which may impact work in this class, which requires accommodations, contact the Disability Services Coordinator.