Social Work 784
SOWK 784: Social Work Practice IV: Family Practice in a Community Context
Prerequisites: Admission to the graduate program in social work or permission from the instructor. SOWK 783 C or better.
Credit Hours: (3)
This course is the second of two concentration practice courses. This course focuses on the knowledge, methods and skills for family practice within a community-based family practice model.
Detailed Description of Content of Course
Building on the theoretical framework acquired in SOWK 783, this course focuses on an in-depth understanding and acquisition of skills necessary for systemic clinical social work practice with families in the small city and rural/semi-rural context. Major themes and concepts which form the focal points of this course include (1) in-depth knowledge of client systems and the different models for and approaches to systemic clinical practice; (2) evaluation and assessment of client systems using such tools as ecomaps, genograms, and structural role-playing; (3) the development of effective oral and written communication skills and assertiveness techniques; (4) advanced skills in interviewing, working with, and advocating for various types of client systems; (5) therapy groups and supports groups; (6) understanding of and ability to evaluate and resolve ethical and value issues relevant to clinical practice; (7) understanding of and ability to address issues faced by women, minorities, the develop mentally challenged, and other vulnerable groups encountered when doing social work practice with families;and (8) understanding of the variety of client situations which may be encountered in small city and rural/semi-rural social work practice settings.
Detailed Description of Conduct of Course
The teaching/learning context for this course will include didactic instruction, large and small group discussions, role-plays, student-led discussions, video-taping, and other experiential activities as appropriate. A conscious awareness of the student's personal epistemology and the ability to operate in a manner which includes intentional reflection on interactions at the level of both content and process will be encouraged. Students will also be expected to take responsibility for their own learning and to be cognizant of the fact that as members of the class group, the learning process is shared. The course includes the following requirements:
1. Students will be expected to complete all readings and assignments and participate in class discussions and activities.
2. Each student will keep a log of reactions (cognitive, affective, and behavioral) and reflections on all class activities and
assignments. Logs are to be typed, double-spaced, and turned in at the beginning of class every other week. All students will turn in a final log during the last class.
3. Students will be expected to engage in a variety of activities aimed at helping them to become familiar with the small city, rural/semi-rural context. Following each activity, they will prepare a one-page, typewritten summary of their experiences relative to that activity. Students are to select five activities from the following list:
a. Take a driving tour of Pulaski or Galax County
b. Stop at a general store in a rural area and ask for directions.
c. Go shopping at Hills Department Store.
d. Be present at a rural Head Start center when parents are dropping off or picking up their children.
e. Attend a meeting of a Family Assessment and Planning team.
f. Eat a meal in a neighborhood restaurant in Floyd County.
g. Do your laundry at a public lawndromat in Galax, Pulaski, or Floyd County
h. Attend church or a church social
i. Go to a flea market or a yard sale
j. Attend a Friday night social at Cockerham's Store in Floyd
4. There will be a mid-term examination and a final examination.
a. The mid-term exam will be objective in format and will cover all material to that date.
b. The final exam will be essay in format and will be designed to help students integrate learning from the entire semester.
5. Students will be expected to complete a series of written and oral reports based on the formats in use in a variety of local agency settings.
Major units in the course include the following:
- A Family Focus in Social Work Practice
- The Family Today
- The Family Policy Context
- An Epistemological Framework
- Family Theory for Family-Centered Practice
- Agency and Case Management Issues
- Contracting and Interviewing
- The Family in Space: Ecological Assessment
- Family-Environment Transactions as Target and Resource for Change
- Assessment in Time: The Intergenerational Perspective
- The Intergenerational Family System as a Resource for Change
- Inside the Family: Inner System Assessment
- The Family Unit as Resource and Target for Change
- Persistence, Coherence and Paradox Family-Centered Practice in the Fields of Aging and Health
Goals and Objectives of the course
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge, beyond a beginning level, of:
1) Various types of client systems and the different models for and approaches to systemic clinical practice.
2) The evaluation and assessment process by means of ecomaps, genograms and structural role-playing.
3) Effective oral and written communication skills and assertiveness techniques.
4) Advanced skills in interviewing, working with, and advocating for various types of client systems.
5) The appropriate use of therapy groups and support groups.
6) Appropriate ways to identify, evaluate and resolve ethical and value issues relevant to clinical practice.
7) How to address issues faced by women, minorities, the develop mentally challenged, and other vulnerable populations
encountered when doing social work practice with families.
8) The impact of the small city and rural/semi-rural context on clinical social work with families.
Grades will be based equally on the punctual completion of all course requirements:
- Punctual Completion of Assignments and Class Participation
- Bi-Weekly Reaction Logs
- Local Activities
- Mid-Term Examination
- Oral and Written Reports
- Final Examination
Other Course Information
Regular attendance will be expected of all students as part of the grade in this course is based on class participation.
Review and Approval
May 2, 2016
February 1999 Course number change from 684 to 784