A Foundation of Strengths. A Vision of Justice. A Mission of Change.

Chapter 1: BSW Program Context, Mission and Goals

The BSW Student Handbook has been created to provide students with information regarding our programs, policies and practices. Students should use this in conjunction with the School of Social Welfare website (socwel.ku.edu) and Academic Catalog (catalog.ku.edu/social-welfare) to orient themselves to our programs, curriculum and resources. It is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract.

Accreditation and Certification

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program has been continuously accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) since 1974 and the Master of Social Work (MSW) program since 1949. CSWE sets guidelines and policies which all accredited BSW and MSW programs must follow in order to attain their status as accredited institutions.

Vision Statement

All individuals, families, & communities utilize their power to achieve justice, equity, & well-being.

Mission Statement

The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, rooted in the Strengths Perspective, aims to transform lives and social contexts and promote social, economic, and environmental justice in Kansas, the nation and the world.  We do so by educating students to practice with integrity and competence; advancing the science and knowledge base of social work through scholarship and research; and participating in community-engaged service.

Guiding Principles and Values

Relationship Building: We engage in relationship building that fosters creativity, collaboration, and mutual learning. Relationship building is essential across practice, scholarship, education and service.  We take a strengths approach as we serve our local, state, national, and global communities.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: We embrace the inherent worth of all people. By taking the position of cultural humility and applying the lens of intersectionality, we seek to develop and promote modes of anti-oppressive social work and dismantle structures of exclusion.

Practice with Integrity: We demonstrate our integrity and trustworthiness as scholars, educators, practitioners, and community members by promoting social work values, ethical practice, and the process of critical reflection.

Multisystem Competency: We recognize that social, economic, and environmental injustices are the root causes of inequities and multiple strategies are necessary to address these. Our work integrates micro/macro social work and builds collaboration across systems and disciplines to create multi-level change.

Critical Perspective: We engage in deliberate and continuing examination of social conditions and solutions. We use critical inquiry to analyze and challenge existing structures and systems in order to advance the field and promote social, economic, and environmental justice.

Empirically Informed Social Work: We rigorously advance empirical research that impacts the social work knowledge base. By translating and applying evidence, we continually transform practice and policy across multiple systems.

Goals

  1. To prepare B.S.W., M.S.W. and Ph.D. students to practice with integrity and attain multi-level competency while working to promote well-being and build community.
  2. To conduct, disseminate, and translate theoretical and empirically informed scholarship and research that impacts the social work knowledge base and transforms practice and policy. 
  3. To promote social, economic, and environmental justice through service at local, state, national, and international levels.

BSW Mission Statement

The BSW Program, rooted in the Strengths Perspective, aims to transform lives and social contexts, and promote social, economic, and environmental justice. We prepare students for generalist practice, while adhering to the School’s guiding values and principles

BSW Program Objectives

OBJECTIVE 1: Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly

  • Advocate for client access to the services of social work.
  • Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development.
  • Attend to professional roles & boundaries.
  • Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication.
  • Engage in career-long learning.
  • Use supervision and consultation.

OBJECTIVE 2:  Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.

  • Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice.
  • Make ethical decisions by applying standards of the NASW Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the IFSW/IASSW Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles.
  • Tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts.
  • Apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions.

OBJECTIVE 3:  Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments

  • Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom.
  • Analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues.

OBJECTIVE 4:  Engage in diversity and difference in practice

  • Recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power.
  • Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups.
  • Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences.
  • View themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants.

OBJECTIVE 5:  Advance human rights and social and economic justice

  • Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination.
  • Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice.
  • Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.

OBJECTIVE 6: Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research

  • Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry.
  • Use research evidence to inform practice.

OBJECTIVE 7:  Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment

  • Utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation.
  • Critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.

OBJECTIVE 8:  Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services

  • Analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being.
  • Collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action.

OBJECTIVE 9:  Respond to contexts that shape practice

  • Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services.
  • Provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services.

OBJECTIVE 10a - ENGAGE:  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

  • Substantively and effectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Use empathy and other interpersonal skills. Develop a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes.

OBJECTIVE 10b - ASSESS:  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

  • Collect, organize, and interpret client data.
  • Assess client strengths and limitations.
  • Develop mutually agreed-upon goal & objectives.
  • Select appropriate intervention strategies.

OBJECTIVE 10c - INTERVENTION:  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

  • Initiate actions to achieve organizational goals.
  • Implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities.
  • Help clients resolve problems.
  • Negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients.
  • Facilitate transitions and endings.

OBJECTIVE 10d - EVALUATE:  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

  • Critically analyze, monitor and evaluate interventions.
  • Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination.
  • Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice.
  • Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.

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