MSW Program Mission

The mission of the Master of Social Work program is to advance social and economic justice by preparing students for competent, empowering clinical practice with vulnerable children, adults and families of diverse backgrounds. In its efforts to enhance the dignity and rights of all people, particularly of historically oppressed populations, the MSW Program seeks to partner with diverse individuals, groups and organizations at university, local, state, national and international levels. Degree Concentration The MSW program is designed to prepare students for responsible, professional social work practice with children and families across the lifespan. Coursework prepares students to assume practice and leadership roles and responsibilities in clinical social work practice, public child and family welfare programs, the protection of abused and neglected children, home-based services, foster care, adoption, school-based services, group and residential care settings, child guidance, parent education, family courts, family violence programs, military social work, adult protective services, child and family advocacy, as well as in major social service systems that include mental health, physical health, and corrections. Competencies Upon graduation, the MSW student will be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

  1. Readily identify as a social work professional, particularly in multi-disciplinary treatment settings.
  2. Maintain professional roles and boundaries in practice with vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  3. Demonstrate professional leadership in advocating for vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  4. Demonstrate increasing levels of autonomy and proficiency in advanced social work practice.
  5. Apply ethical decision-making skills to issues specific to advanced practice with vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  6. Employ strategies of ethical reasoning in practice with vulnerable children, families, and adults and its impact on client rights.
  7. Critically evaluate the relevance of commonly-utilized assessment tools and practices in terms of their usefulness and appropriateness with vulnerable children, families, and adults from diverse backgrounds.
  8. Research and utilize culturally sensitive and effective services with vulnerable, children, families and adults at all levels of practice.
  9. Work effectively with vulnerable children, families, and adults from diverse populations.
  10. Use knowledge of the effects of oppression, discrimination, and historical trauma on clients and client systems to guide service planning and provision.
  11. Identify agency and legislative policies and procedures that positively and negatively affect the wellbeing of vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  12. Understand the roles and responsibilities of ethical professional leadership to enhance diversity and alleviate racial and ethnic disproportionality in services to vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  13. Use evidence-based practice assessments and interventions with vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  14. Participate in the generation of new knowledge and service provision to vulnerable children, families, and adults through research and practice.
  15. Demonstrate the ability to use information, technology, and evidence-based research to evaluate and improve policy, practice, and program effectiveness to vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  16. Synthesize and differentially apply theories of human behavior and the social environment to guide practice with vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  17. Use bio-psycho-social-spiritual theories and multi-axial diagnostic classification systems in the formulation of comprehensive assessments.
  18. Articulate and apply theories related to trauma resulting from family conflict, family dissolution, and family or community violence in practice and program development.
  19. Inform and advocate with administrators and legislators to influence policies that affect vulnerable children, families, and adults and the services provided to them.
  20. Communicate to stakeholders the implications of policies and policy change in the lives of vulnerable children, famil
  21. Use evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence in advocacy for policies that advance social and economic well-being for vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  22. Assess the quality of clients' interactions within their social contexts.
  23. Demonstrate leadership in the ability to collaborate with individuals, groups, community-based organizations, and government agencies to advocate for equitable access to culturally sensitive resources and services to vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  24. Develop a culturally responsive professional relationship with vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  25. Demonstrate skills in interviewing vulnerable children, families, and adults for assessment, service planning, intervention, evaluation and/or forensic purposes.
  26. Use multidimensional assessment tools effectively.
  27. Select and modify appropriate intervention strategies based on continuous practice assessment.
  28. Critically evaluate, select, and apply best practices and evidence-based interventions.
  29. Demonstrate the use of appropriate intervention methods for a range of presenting concerns identified in the assessment.
  30. Collaborate with other professionals to coordinate appropriate service interventions with vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  31. Contribute to the theoretical knowledge base of the social work profession through practice-based research.
  32. Use practice evaluation of the process and/or outcomes to develop best practice interventions for a range of bio-psycho-social-spiritual conditions impacting vulnerable children, families, and adults. ies, and adults.