SW310 Social Work Practice I: Individuals and Familes

for FA 2008

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


SW 310 Social Work Practice I: Individuals and Families


FA 2008 HO


Kisthardt, Walter E.


Associate Professor Chair/BSW Program Director


Ph.D. Social Work
BA Sociology/Social Work

Office Location

225 Underground

Office Hours

Tues. Thurs all day and by appointment

Daytime Phone


Other Phone




Semester Dates

Aug. 18 - Dec.12

Class Days


Class Time

8:45 - 10:00 AM


Admmission to BSW Program

Credit Hours


Generalist Social Work Practice: An Empowering Approach. Karla Krogsrud Miley, Michael O'Melia, & Brenda DuBois. (2007) 5th Ed. Allyn & Bacon: Boston

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Walter E. Kisthardt, Ph.D. (2006) The Opportunities and Challenges of Strengths-Based, Person-Centered Practice. Chapter 10, pp. 171-196 in D. Saleebey (ed.) The Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice. Allyn & Bacon: Boston.  On reserve in Library.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
This course introduces students to the profession of social work and provides an overview of the professional knowledge, skills, and values necessary for generalist social work practice. The various settings for social work practice and the types of services provided by social workers are explored. The seven core functions of generalist practice are explored within the context of the emerging Strengths Perspective in Social Work. 

Educational Philosophy:
At all times I will strive to model the values and skills that are at the heart of the profession of social work. Just as in the helping process, teaching should be a collaborative, mutually enriching experience. I believe that learning is best achieved in an environment that is respectful, safe, affirming, challenging, and highly interactive.I understand that every person has wisdom in their lived experience and a unique world view and perspective. I recognize that each of us learns in different ways and I will strive to present concepts in a manner that promotes your learning. If you are having difficulty with any aspect of the class I hope that you will make this known to me. I truly want this class to be enjoyable as well as educational.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of concepts related to generalist practice with individuals and families.
  2. Identify social work roles, values and ethics associated with services to individuals and families of diverse experiences and needs.
  3. Describe theoretical foundations of social work practice from a systematic perspective recognizing both strengths and limitations.
  4. Express an understanding of the importance of a worker-client relationship and skill in establishing respectful, mutual, empowering, professional relationships.
  5. Demonstrate a competence in basic interviewing skills.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the process of assessing a client's strengths and challenges.
  7. Describe and demonstrate an understanding of the process and application of basic practice evaluation.

Core Assessment:

·  PowerPoint family collage (LO 1,2,6,7)

·  Volunteer experience (LO 1,4,6,7)

·  Genogram (LO 1,5,6)

·  Process Recording (LO 3-7)

·  Core Assessment: Portfolio Assignment (LO 1-7)

·  Agency Resources Exercise (LO 1,2,4,7)

·  Exams (LO 1-7)

Class Assessment:

Written Examination...This exam will be given in class in the date noted in the syllabus and will be multiple choice, true false, and brief essay. the test will cover material from the readings, lectures, and class discussion. 

Written Critique of two Social Work Journal Articles related to social work practice with a vulnerable and/or at risk population.  I will provide you with a format to complete these written critiques.

Term Paper which demonstrates your understanding and ability to apply the seven core functions of generalist practice integrating actual experiences from your Field Practicum. This paper must be submitted using APA format and be 10-15 pages in length.

Classroom Presentation illustrating your understanding and delivery of generalist social work practice with individuals and/or families in your field practicum.  This presentation will be 20 minutes with 5-10 minutes for you to respond to questions and display skills in facilitating discission. 

Class participation: This class is highly interactive and experiential. Your presence and active involvement are critical to creating the most effective learning atmosphere. You will be expected to display the same listening skills, attentiveness, respect, professional dialogue, and compassion with and for each other as colleagues as you display when working with a service participant. 


Written Exam = 25 points...in class October 9.

2 Social Work Journal Article Critiques: 10 points each = 20 Points: a copy of article will be submitted with your written critique. Guideline for this assignment is attached.

Term paper on Functions of Generalist Practice = 25 points

Presentation of generalist practice Knowledge and Skills = 20 points

Class Participation = 10 points

Late Submission of Course Materials:

 Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date indicated on the course schedule. In the event of absence you may submit the assignment electronically. The student remains responsible for lost, misdirected or incompatible formatting of electronic submissions. In extenuating circumstances (as determined by the instructor) and with timely notification an exception may or may nor be granted. Assignments not submitted on time will receive a deduction of 10% of the possible score per day. Please be aware that there is no “extra credit” work in this course.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

In order to maintain a positive learning environment the following ground rules will be the norm for our interactions. Personal perspectives will be valued. Degrading or discriminatory remarks or behaviors are not acceptable. Discussion will reflect an exchange of information, experiences, ideas, and opinions which foster critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis. If you work in groups, it is the responsibility of the group members to delegate work. All members of the group must present on the project and all will receive the same grade. Because of the sensitivity of the subject matter relevant for consideration in social work respect, sensitivity, and confidentiality must be maintained. Students need to arrive on time. Students will not hold private conversations when a colleague is speaking. If a student’s behavior is considered to be disruptive, the instructor will give that person the opportunity to modify the behavior without point penalty. If the student’s behavior continues to be disruptive they will lose all class participation points and be referred to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week One: Aug. 19-21...Introductions, Review of Syllabus and expectations for course. What is Generalist Social Work Practice? The seven core functions of Generalist Practice. The Purpose of Social Work. Readings...Chapter 1 in text pp. 3-23

Week Two: Aug. 26-28...The Eco-Systems Theory/Perspective...Readings...Chapter 2 in text pp. 24-52, Dr. Kisthardt's chapter from Strengths perspective text on reserve in library. Key concepts of eco-systems theory and relevance for social work generalist practice. The importance of strengths-based, person-centered, eco-systemic assessment and personal wellness plan...standards for effective goal writing.

Week Three: Sept. 2-4...The Strengths Perspective...Readings...Chapter 4 in text pp. 79-102 & Dr. Kisthardt's chapter on reserve in Library. How Does the Strengths perspective differ for the Problem Solving or Medical Model Perspective? The importance of assessing strengths in the person and strengths/resources in the environment. Difference between wants and needs...re-examining the concpets of Motivation/Problem/and Change. Your Strengths Assessment and Personal Wellness Plan Due this date (Sept. 4). Copies of these helping tools will be provided.

Week Four: Sept. 9-11...Social Work values and Cultural Competence...Reading...Chapter 3 in text pp.53-78. key concepts...self-determination, diversity, inclusion,world-view, the objectivity/subjectivity debate...is it possible to be "nonjudgemental"? status & priviledge,equal opportiunity and accesss to resources. guest speakers share what they do as social workers...be prepared to criticall examine actual social work practice for consistency with values covered in the reading. First Journal Critique Due this date (11th).

Week Five: Sept. 16-18...Just what exactly is "empowerment"? Reading...Chapter 5 in text pp.103-Types and Forms of Power, social and economic justice, praxis, dialogue, partnership, assessment as discovery, brainstorming alternative healthier more productive responses to life demands, multiple levels of generalist practice.

Week Six: Sept. 23-25...Generalist practice as a collaborative enterprise. Reading...Chapter 6 in text pp.129-157...Who is the expert? What are the characteristics of a healthy, productive partnership? power sharing, influence, motivation, problem, change, transformation, difference between rights, privileges, and social responsibility, dual relationships, structural oppression, confidentiality, informed consent. Second Journal Critique Due this date (25th).

Week Seven: Sept. 30-Oct. 2...Articulating Situations and Defining Directions...Readings...Chapters 7 and 8 in text pp.159-215. key concepts...active listening, procative responding, conveying hope and possibility, evaluating your intervention...how do we effectively deal with our own emotions when helping another? Directive vs. non-directive...

Week Eight: Oct. 7-9:...Strengths Perspective as Culturally Competent Practice...Identifying personal and Community strengths and framing solutions. Readings: Chapters 9, 10 & 11 in text pp.220-316...key concepts integrating strengths to promote change and transformation, solution focused dialogue, self-fulfilling prophecy, consolidating gains, strength in diversity, strengths across thew develepmentall cycle and vulnerable, oppressed groups...Review for test on Tuesday and take test in class on Thursday Oct. 9.

Week Nine: Oct. 13-17...No Class, Fall Recess...Be sure to apply the Strengths Model in your own life and make the time to do something that will renew your spirit and prepare your emotionall, physically, and spiritually for the second half of the semester.

Week Ten: Oct. 21-23...Activating Resources...Review Test: Reading: Chapter 12 in text pp. 319-350...key concepts, The Ethic of Advocacy, what are the characteristics of the effective advocate, multi-system intervention, promoting empowerment and leadership, use of compassionate confrontation, endings and transitions...

Week Eleven: October 28-30...Creating Alliances...Reading: Chapter 13 in text pp. 351-383...key concepts...netorking skills, integrating services, continnuity of care, continuum of care...We will also spend time in these classes to provide guidance and suggestions for your final practice application paper.

Week Twelve: November 4-6...Expanding and Creating Opportunities for People to Experience Success...Reading:Chapter 14 in text pp. 384-408...key concepts...equal opportunity, stigma, discrimination, community organization, policy practice, street level bureaucrat, social action, radical social work. Practice presentations begin this week. 

Week Thirteen: November 11-13...The Practitioner/Researcher...Reading: Chapter 15 in text pp.409 - 435...key concepts... evaluating practice, evidence-based practice, empirical practice, being a consumer as well as a producer of knowledge for the profession...Practice Presentations.

Week Fourteen: November 18-20...Endings and transitions...Reading: Chapter 16 in text pp. 439-462...key concepts...consolidating gains, sharing learning and growth, setting the stage for future challenges...Practice Presentations

No class on the 27th...Happy Thanksgiving.

Week Fifteen: Dec. 2-4: Presentations of Practice Compentencies. Review and evaluate course.

Your Final Practice Paper is due on or before the last class (Dec. 4). No papers will be accepted after this date and no incompletes will be given in this class.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Journal Critique Guideline

Person-centered Strengths Assessment

Personal Wellness Plan


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Last Updated:7/9/2008 3:12:53 PM