SW310 Social Work Practice I: Individuals and Familes

for FA 2004

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Social Work Practice I:  Individuals & Families

 Fall 2004

Faculty: Dr. Phyllis A. Hipps Ph.D., MSW

Office: MA225A

Office Hours:  T-R 2:00-4:00 pm and by appointment as needed

Office Telephone (816) 584-6503

Faculty E-Mail: Phyllis.Hipps@park.edu

Dates of Semester: August 23-December 19, 2004

Class days and times: T-R 11:35-12:50

Prerequisite:  SW205, Conditional or Full Admission to Social Work Major

Credit Hours: 3


University 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.


Course Description:  This course provides the foundation for beginning social work practice with individuals and their families.  It focuses on the theories, knowledge, practice skills needed to engage in a problem solving process, and the ethical framework within which this process occurs. 


Instructor’s Educational Philosophy:  Social work as a profession emerged in response to the many challenges, inequalities and threats to societies and the world’s most vulnerable populations.  The demographic of those populations is constantly evolving, as is the nature of challenges that increasingly confront us all. 

It is vitally important that students and new graduates, regardless of their professional identity, be prepared to efficiently and critically consider their environment in order to identify, strategize, and communicate an appropriate response to the matters before them.  This is as true in business, science, education and government service as it is in social work. 

It is the intent of the faculty in the Department of Social Work to facilitate learners in the acquisition of such knowledge as will serve them, their families and their communities, throughout their lives.  Through the semester, world and local events will occur which may influence our academic, personal, or professional pursuits. In light of such circumstances, the instructor reserves the right to amend the schedule of study.


Course Objectives:  It is expected that students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

1.      Demonstrate an understanding of concepts related to generalist social work practice with individuals and families.

2.      Identify generalist 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 pivotal importance of a social worker-client relationship and skill in establishing respectful, mutual, empowering, professional relationships with clients.

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.


Course Textbook(s):


Understanding Generalist Practice 3rd Ed. and Student Manual Kirst-Ashman, K. & Hull, G.H. Jr. CA: Brookes/Cole (2002).


The Social Work Portfolio: Planning, Assessing and Documenting Lifelong Learning in a Dynamic Profession Cournoyer, B.R., Stanley, M.J., Brooks/Cole (2002).


Case Studies in Generalist Practice 3rd ed. Rivas, F. R. & Hull, G.H. Jr. Brooks/Cole (2004).

Note: A copy of each text is available on reserve in the McAfee Library.


Academic Honesty:   “Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community.  Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.”


Plagiarism:  “…the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work—sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance.  Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.”



Attendance Policy:  “Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences.  The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment.  Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.  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 “WH.”   A Contract for Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.  Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.  Reports of an F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.”  Regular classroom attendance is both expected and essential for the attainment of course objectives. Material not found in the text will be presented and discussed in class.  Absences detract from your learning as well as that of others.


Late Submission of Coursework:   Assignments are due at the beginning of the class on the date indicated.  In the event of an absence, assignments may be submitted to the instructor 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 not be granted. Assignments not submitted on time will receive a deduction of 10% of the possible score per day.  If you ever have a question about any assignment or expectation in this course, please contact the instructor in a timely manner.   Please be aware that there is no extra credit work in this course.


Make up exams: Exams are given only on the date specified. Make-up exams will only be scheduled at the instructor’s prerogative under extreme circumstances.  Students or an agent of the student must notify the instructor prior to the exam and must be prepared to submit documentation of the circumstances.


Course Assessment: Further details on assignments will be distributed in class. Written assignments are to be double spaced, 12 font size, typed or word processed. CO refers to course objectives met, noted in parenthesis.


Family Collage,  Volunteer Experience, Genogram,  Process Recording, Portfolio, Agency Resource Exercise,  and two exams.


  • Power Point Family Collage:  Prepare a basic “PowerPoint” presentation for class exploring the composition, background, values and culture of your family.  You may use the scanner in the computer center to add in photographs, drawings or documents. You may also cut and paste images and graphics from the internet to illustrate particular issues.  Creativity is encouraged. The projected images will be background for your oral presentation.  A family genogram of at least three generations is to be included. It is your choice as to how much specific family information you are comfortable sharing with the class.  Further details regarding this assignment will be distributed in class. (CO 1,2,6,7)


  • Volunteer Experience: You are required to perform twenty hours of voluntary community service through the course of this semester.  Instructions for preparing a paper and class presentation describing your experience will be distributed in class.  You must confirm the agency or service you select with the course instructor prior to beginning this assignment. (CO 1,4,6,7)  A comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities is available at the following two web sites:


  • Genogram: You will prepare and present for class discussion a genogram reflecting at least three generations in the family of a familiar public figure.  A list of possible subjects will be distributed in class. (CO1,5,6)


  • Process Recording: The purpose of this assignment is to acquaint you with the use of process recording as a tool to reflect on and assess your work.  The assignment will also give you an opportunity to apply concepts about interviewing, social work relationships, and problemsolving to your work, engage in the process of developing self-awareness, and constructively use peer case consultation.  Process recording requires you to write down, as accurately as you can, everything that took place in an interview, including everything said by the worker and the client, actions, and nonverbal gestures.  Do not summarize or paraphrase the dialogue.  Because process recording is a learning tool, these materials do not become part of the client’s formal case record.  The value of process recording often comes from the reflection in writing about an interview, even if it is painful and time consuming.  Key statements, barriers, and patterns become clearer; useful insights emerge from supervision and learning.  Please resist the urge to “pretty-up” or invent what occurred in your interview.  Only through reflecting everything as it occurred can you benefit from this assignment.  The assignment must be word processed.  More information will be provided in class on how to be a successful process recorder. (CO 3-7)


  • Portfolio:  In HBSE I you complete and discuss the “Lifelong Learning Questionnaire” appendix I in The Social Work Portfolio. In a short essay discuss how a well-prepared portfolio might help you develop and expand the competencies you identified in that exercise as well as the lessons of this class.    OR
  • Portfolio: Upon acceptance into the Social Work Major at Park University, you were asked to complete “The Self-Assessment of Social Work Knowledge Survey,” appendix 4, in The Social Work Portfolio.    Although the survey is not graded, reflect upon that experience and write a short essay discussing how a well-prepared student portfolio might benefit your classroom learning and your preparation for professional practice.   Specific instructions for this assignment will be distributed in class.  (CO1-7)


  • Agency Resources Exercise:   Students will take a hypothetical case of a client in need and utilize resource directories such as the United Way Where To Turn “Resource Directory”    ( http://www.hauw.org/wtt04.htm )   to identify local agencies and resources which would be appropriate to meet the client’s need.  The purpose of this exercise is to become familiar with common resource directories and to become familiar which local agencies and resources. (CO 1,2,4,7) 


  • Exams:  Covering lectures, discussions, exercises, assigned readings, and guest speaker's input, an exam will be given at mid term and end of semester.  The instructor will provide a detailed study guide.  (CO1-7)


Classroom Rules of Conduct:  In order to maintain a positive learning environment the following ground rules will be followed:


  1. Personal perspectives will be valued.  Degrading or discriminatory remarks or behaviors are not acceptable.
  2. Discussion will reflect an exchange of information, experiences, ideas, and opinions that have an educational value.
  3. If you work in groups, it is the responsibility of the group members to delegate work.  All members of a group must present on the project and all will receive the same grade.
  4. Because of our sensitive subject matter, courtesy needs to be maintained in the classroom at all times.  Students need to arrive on time.  Students will not hold private conversations when another person is speaking.  Students will speak one at a time.
  5. If student’s behavior in the classroom is disruptive, the instructor will allow the student an opportunity to correct the behavior without consequences.  If the student’s behavior continues to be disruptive, that student may be asked to leave the classroom and will be referred to the Office of Academic Affairs.


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 American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent 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: www.park.edu/disability."


SW310 Course Schedule:     


Week 1            Introduction

                        Get Acquainted

                        Discuss syllabus


Week 2           Ch 1 Introducing Generalist Practice: The Generalist Intervention Model


                       In this class discussion the following will be included: Uniqueness of        

                       social work, defining generalist practice with an eclectic knowledge base,        

                       application of a wide range of skills to target systems of any size, in an             

                       organizational structure under supervision, in a wide range of roles, with               

                       critical thinking, with planned change, with empowerment, and planned     

                       change steps in the generalist intervention model (GIM).


                        Portfolio Essay due


Week 3            Ch 2 Micro Practice Skills: Working with Individuals


                        In this class discussion the following will be included: Micro skills and      

                        GIM, interviewing as a key micro skill, beginning the worker-client           

                        relationship, verbal and nonverbal behavior, eye contact, attentive     

                        listening, facial expressions, body positioning, warmth, empathy, and       

                        genuineness, client self-determination and empowerment, starting the      

                        interview, the interview setting, how to dress, thinking ahead about an         

                        interview with a client, initial introductions, alleviating the client's            

                        anxiety, portraying confidence and competence, beginning statement of         

                        purpose and role, conducting the interview, verbal responses to the client,            

                        overlap of techniques, interviewing, specific techniques, and the planned          

                        change process, challenges in the interviewing, dealing with diversity,              

                        cross cultural awareness, silence in the interview, confronting clients,                

                        involuntary clients, suspicion of untruth, and terminating the interview.


Week 4           Ch 3 Mezzo Practice Skills: Working with Groups


                        In this class discussion the following will be included:  Types of groups,       

                        task and treatment groups, worker roles in groups such as broker,       

                        mediator, educator, facilitator, basic group dynamics such as group     

                       development, group culture, norms, and power, group size and           

                       composition, duration, decision making in groups, group roles, micro       

                       skills in groups, groups in the GIM, task and treatment group skills such as      

                       conflict resolution, modeling and coaching, team building, confrontation,        

                       consultation, coordination, and using structure.


                        Agency Resources Exercise


Week 5           Ch 4 Macro Practice Skills: Working with Organizations and Communities


                       In this class discussion the following will be included: Defining macro      

                       practice, the organizational context of social work practice, professional –     

                       organizational conflicts, limitations and risk assessment, theoretical base         

                       for organizational change such as social reform, social action, cause         

                       advocacy, and case advocacy, micro, mezzo, and macro  skills for                

                       organizational and community change, evaluating outcomes, fund-raising,              

                       budgeting, negotiating, mediating, influencing decision makers, needs            

                       assessment, planning, and working with coalitions, worker roles in              

                       organizational and community change, such as initiator, negotiator,               

                       advocate, spokesperson, organizer, mediator, consultant, and GIM< in        

                       macro practice. Skills for organizational and community change, mezzo             

                       skills for organizational and community.


Week 6            Ch 5 Engagement and Assessment in Generalist Practice


                        In this class discussion the following will be included: Engagement,         

                        greeting the client, demonstrating effective attending skills, discussing          

                        agency services and client expectations, deciding if the agency and worker     

                        can help, offering agency and worker services to the client, orienting the             

                        client to the helping process, completing required paperwork, assessment,           

                        how to approach assessment, goals of assessment, assessment from a          

                        micro practice perspective, family assessment, assessment in mezzo         

                        practice, assessing groups, assessment in macro practice, assessment,          

                        client empowerment, and strengths.


Week 7            Ch 6 Planning in Generalist Practice


                        In this class discussion the following will be included: Steps in the           

                        planning process, work with your clients, prioritize problems, translate          

                        problems into needs, evaluate levels of intervention-selecting a strategy,          

                        establish goals, specify objectives, specify action steps, formalize a               

                        contract, planning in mezzo practice, complexity of setting objectives in         

                        mezzo practice, contracts to mezzo practice, planning macro practice, and          

                        an approach to program planning.


Week 8            Review and mid term exam


Week 9            Ch 7 Implementation Applications


                        In this class discussion the following will be included: Child maltreatment             

                       and protective services, family preservation philosophy, the GIM                   

                       engagement, assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation,                

                       termination, and follow-up, child maltreatment and mezzo practice and         

                       child maltreatment and macro practice, crisis intervention, the crisis             

                       process, major concepts in crisis intervention, steps in crisis intervention,        

                       crisis intervention at the mezzo and macro levels, alcohol and other              

                       substance abuse, the alcoholic person, alcoholism and alcohol and other              

                       substance dependence and abuse, micro practice techniques for             

                       implementation with alcoholic clients, micro practice techniques for          

                       implementation with alcoholic clients, implementation at the mezzo and            

                       macro levels.




Week10          Ch 8 Evaluation: Termination, and Follow-Up in Generalist Practice


                       In this class discussion the following will be included: Evaluating social           

                       work practice, definition and purpose of evaluation, external factors in

                       evaluation, obstacles to evaluation, the evaluation process, evaluation   

                       designs for direct practice, single-system designs, goal-attainment scaling,       

                       task-achievement scaling, client satisfaction questionnaires, target-           

                       problem scaling, evaluation designs for programs, needs assessments,         

                       evaluability assessments, process analysis, program outcome analysis,           

                       continuous quality assurance evaluations, program monitoring, issues and             

                       problems in evaluation, problems in generaliability, wrong choices of             

                       evaluation tools, failure to involve clients in the evaluation process, staff           

                       distrust of evaluation, evaluation process interference with service giving,            

                       alternative explanations for program outcomes, unanticipated                  

                       consequences, termination and follow-up, ethical practice and critical          

                       thinking about termination, terminating professional relationships, tasks           

                       for termination, planned terminations, unplanned terminations, other           

                       points about termination, reactions and feelings to termination, helping         

                       clients termination stabilization of change, client follow-up, doing the            

                       follow-up, and overcoming barriers to follow-up.


Week 11         Ch 9 Understanding Families


                        In this class discussion the following will be included: Families and the        

                       GIM, family assessment in communication, structure, life cycle             

                        adjustments, impinging social environment, family conflicts, problems,      

                        and their resolutions, partner difficulties, parent-child relationship           

                        difficulties, personal problems of individual family members, external        

                        environmental stresses, the impact of social and economic forces,         

                        variations in family structures, single-parent families, remarriage and            

                        stepfamilies, enhancing cultural competency, family assessment and keys         

                        to empowerment, acculturation, immigration history, school adjustment,            

                        employment, male and female interactive patterns, and role of extended family.


                        Process Recording


Week 12          Ch 10 Working with Families

                        Ch 11 Values, Ethics, and the Resolution of Ethical Dilemmas


                        In this class discussion the following will be included: Generalist practice              

                        with families, family treatment and the planned change process,              

                        strategizing for family intervention, do you always have to see the entire          

                        family, engagement, assessment, planning with families, phase 1 through               

                        5, implementation of family intervention, reframing, teaching families        

                        problem solving techniques, teaching child-management methods, offering       

                        families support, role playing, videotaping, homework assignments,         

                        evaluation, termination and follow-up with families, family issues and           

                        services, multi problem families, family preservation, diversity and             

                        families, the current status of family services, macro practice with                     

                        families, and promoting social and economic justice.  In addition, the                 

                        NASW Code of Ethics, ethical responsibilities to clients, colleagues,          

                        practice settings, professionals, social work profession, to the broader              

                        society, the Canadian Association of Social Workers' Code of Ethics,         

                        ethical dilemmas, conceptualizing and addressing an ethical dilemma,         

                        decision-making steps 1 through 8, ranking ethical principles in the ethical         

                        principles screen, principles 1 through 7, discussion and resolution of           

                        ethical dilemmas in generalist practice contexts, confidentiality, privileged     

                        communication, self determination and paternalism, dual relationships,        

                        telling the truth, laws, politics, and regulations, whistle-blowing,                     

                        distribution of limited resources, and personal and professional values.


Week 13          Ch 12 Culturally Competent Social Work Practice

                        Ch 13 Gender Sensitive Social Work Practice


                        In this class discussion the following will be included: Diversity in the          

                        United states, race and ethnicity, disabilities, histrionic and current               

                        discrimination, barriers to culturally competent soci8al work, integrating            

                        cultural competence in the GIM through engagement, assessment,                  

                        planning, implementation, evaluation, termination and follow-up, practice       

                        knowledge and skills with Native Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, African    

                        Americans, Asian Americans and pacific Islanders, people with            

                        disabilities, and developing cultural competence interventions.  In          

                        addition, gender sensitivity, women and the GIM, feminist perspective on        

                        micro, mezzo, and macro aspects of generalist practice, a definition of      

                        feminism for practitioners, micro practice with women, common           

                        problems, stressful life events, personal issues, helping women in micro    

                        practice, common circumstances facing women, women as survivors of       

                        sexual assaults, macro perspectives on sexual assault, battered women, a           

                        profile of battered women, survivors versus victims, a strengths            

                        perspective, the abusive perpetrator, the battering cycle, why does she     

                       stay, counseling battered women, suggestions for macro practice on behalf    

                       of battered women, the feminization of poverty, micro and mezzo            

                       perspectives on women and poverty, and macro perspectives on women and poverty.


Week 14          Ch 14 Advocacy

                        Ch 15 Brokering and Case Management


                        In this class discussion the following will be included: Defining advocacy,

                        advocacy and GIM, case and cause advocacy, useful skills in advocacy,    

                        goals and targets of advocacy, history of advocacy in social work,         

                        assumptions about power, organizations, and clients, knowledge required         

                        by advocates, knowing the rights of clients, avenues for appeal, available       

                        resources, tactics and strategies of intervention, assessment in advocacy      

                        situations, self-assessment, what are our sources of power, other               

                        assessment considerations, planning in advocacy situations, the ultimate          

                        decision, intervention using advocacy strategies and tactics such as        

                        persuasion, fair hearings, legal appeals, political and community pressure,         

                        using the media, petitioning, selecting a strategy for advocacy, whistle        

                        blowing, legislative advocacy, factors affecting legislative advocacy, and           

                        steps in legislative advocacy.  In addition, a definition of brokering,       

                        importance of  the brokering role in social work and generalist practice,      

                        the effective broker, importance of knowing resources, types of resources,        

                        the planned change process in brokering, case management, what is case             

                        management, the importance of case management, for generalist practice,       

                        assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation of case management,  

                        termination and follow-up in case management, and factors influencing      

                        case management service delivery.


                        Volunteer Experience Write Up due

                        Class Presentation


Week 15          Ch 16 Recording in Generalist Social Work Practice


                        In this class discussion the following will be included: The importance of     

                        writing in social work, what is in the record, recording formats, process        

                        recording, using videotapes and audiotapes, progress notes, diagnostic        

                        summary recording, summaries of case conferences, problem oriented      

                        recording, standardized forms, recording progress in groups, writing       

                        letters, memos, recording in meetings, other types of recording formats,            

                        computers, e-mail, faxes, writing skills and recording, and privacy principles,


Week 16          Final Examination



Grading:    Every effort will be made to be fair and reasonable in grading your work and participation.  If you have questions or concerns about this, please speak to the instructor in a timely manner.  You are expected to present material that is legible and well considered.  While you will be tested over specific course content, you should do well if you read the material and pay attention in class.


Grading:   Exams: 10% each; Family Collage /PowerPoint: 10%; Resource Exercise: 10%;   Portfolio Exercise: 10%; Genogram: 10%; Process Recording: 15%; Volunteer Experience & Report: 15%; Attendance and Participation: 10%.

Scoring:       A= 90-100    B= 80-89    C= 70-79    D= 60-69    F= 59-0