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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Tina Aiko Schaefer
SOC W 512
Seattle Campus

Practice III: Organizational Practice

Focuses on ways in which management activities contribute to service effectiveness for clients and quality of conditions for staff. Various managerial roles, functions, and skills examined. Impact of agency structure, culture, and mission on staff, clients, and organizational outcomes discussed with emphasis on ways social work managers influence change. Offered: W.

Class description

This is the first of a two-quarter course sequence that prepares students for entry-level macro practice. Students develop foundational skills in assessment, intervention, and evaluation of organizations and communities and how the political environment and policy context affects these arenas. Organizations and communities are viewed as both tools and targets for change efforts. This process is driven by the principles of economic and social justice, multiculturalism, and empowerment practice that requires social workers to become critical thinkers and reflective practitioners engaged in and capable of facilitating an action-oriented model that reflects social works' core values. Macro practice is designed to bring about planned change in organizations, communities, and the policy environment, engaging the practitioner in organizational, community, and policy areas (Netting, Kettner, & McMurtry, 1998). This course employs an empowerment perspective that serves to increase personal and collective political power through interventions and the principles of evidence-based practice. This helps guide the analysis of social problems as well as the development of organizational, community, and policy solutions.

Student learning goals

512 Core Competencies This course targets the following SSW foundation competencies and related practice behaviors: Competency #1: Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly 1a. Advocate for just social structures (institutions & systems). 1b. Advocate for equitable client/constituent access to social work services, in the context of diverse and multidisciplinary settings. 1c. Practice critical self-reflection to assure continual professional growth and development. Competency #2: Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice 2c. Tolerate and respect ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts. 2d. Apply ethical reasoning strategies to arrive at principled, informed, and culturally responsive decisions. Competency #3: Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments 3a. Use critical thinking to distinguish, evaluate, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, practice wisdom, and client/constituent experience. 3h. Demonstrate effective communication skills (e.g., listening, oral, and written communication skills)in working with organizations and communities. 3i. Demonstrate effective communication skills (e.g., listening, oral, and written communication skills) in working with colleagues. Competency #4: Engage diversity and difference in practice 4a. Recognize and articulate the ways in which social and cultural structures—including history, institutions, and values—oppress some identity groups while enhancing the privilege and power of dominant groups. 4b. Develop and demonstrate sufficient critical self-awareness to understand the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups. 4c. Recognize and dialogue with others about the role of difference and the multiple intersections of oppression and privilege in shaping a person's identity and life experiences. 4d. Engage the knowledge, strengths, skills, and experience of clients/constituents in social work practice. Competency #5: Advance human rights and social and economic justice 5a. Understand and articulate the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and approaches to advancing social justice and human rights. 5b. Advocate for and engage in practices that address disparities and inequalities and advance human rights and social and economic justice. Competency #7: Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment 7a. Apply theories and conceptual frameworks relevant to understanding people and environments across systems levels. Competency #8: Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services. 8a. Use critical understanding of the history and current form of US social welfare and social service policies (e.g., institutions, governance, and financing) to formulate policies and strategies that advance social and economic justice. 8b. Use critical understanding of the history and current form of US social welfare and social service policies (e.g., institutions, governance, and financing) to formulate policies and strategies that improve social service delivery. 8c. Collaborate with colleagues, clients/constituents, and others to advocate for social and economic justice to affect policy change. Competency #9: Respond to contexts that shape practice 9a. Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide culturally relevant services. 9b. Engage in efforts to promote sustainable changes in service delivery to alleviate disparities in the access and utilization of services to lessen the disproportionate representation of persons of color in systems of care. 9c. Recognize and understand the local-global context of practice. Competency #10: Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. 10a. Engage with individuals in the context of diverse and multidisciplinary settings. 10b. Engage with families and groups in the context of diverse and multidisciplinary settings. 10c. Engage with organizations and communities in the context of diverse and multidisciplinary settings. 10e. Develop mutually agreed upon focus of work and desired.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Kelly A Hoeft
Date: 12/10/2013