SWK 201: Social Work Theory and Practice

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to assist students in understanding the link between social work theory and beginning-level generalist social work practice. Theoretical information appropriate for beginning-level generalist social work practice is also presented. This course will provide opportunities for students to experience practice situations through role plays, simulations, case vignettes, and other experiential activities. The theory-based material, activities, and assignments in this course are designed to support students in understanding the vital connection between theoretical orientation and stages of the helping process. (3 credits)

Prerequisite

  • None

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Learn foundational theories supporting social work practice and understanding the roles of theory play in evidenced-based social work practice, understanding the reciprocal relationship between social work theory and practice.
  2. Develop knowledge for human diversity and awareness of the unique needs, concerns, and challenges of clients from different social, cultural, racial, religious, spiritual, and class backgrounds.
  3. Explore their own biases and learn how it influences their view of themselves and others, which strengthens their work with future clients/client systems/institutions.
  4. Study the social work skills of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation in social work practice.
  5. Illustrate the beginning ability to establish a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes with clients via intervention approaches.
  6. Enhance their ability to critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate practice communications.
  7. Begin to identify as a professional social worker and conduct themselves accordingly by using practice strategies consistent with the Social Work Code of Ethics.
  8. Appreciate and effectively manage work-related stress, burnout, and engage in self-care.
  9. Recognize and discuss generalist social work practice concepts and intervention methods as informed by research and evidence-based practice.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) / Competencies

  1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
  2. Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
  3. Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
  4. Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
  5. Engage in Policy Practice
  6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Course Activities and Grading

AssignmentsWeight

Discussions (Weeks 1-8)

30%

Quizzes (Weeks 2, 4 and 6)

20%

Theory Paper (Week 7)

30%

Final Exam (Week 8)

20%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak State College's Book Bundle

  • Cengage Unlimited - Access (12 months)
    • Vitalsource Rentals (2018)
  • The Social Work Program has partnered with Cengage to provide all e-texts, MindTap activities, and other resources through the Cengage Unlimited Subscription. All Social Work courses will use Cengage Unlimited and MindTap content activities. You will only need to purchase this product one time for theyear. Please do not purchase this product multiple times within a subscription year. In addition, this subscription allows students to rent textbooks through the Cengage website for $9.99 per book. Please refer to your course syllabus forthe required textbook information. Students will have access to all materials for their social work courses from the day of purchase. The subscription expires 365 days after students access and opens their first e-text link. Optional hardcopy textbook purchase can be independently. 
  • The textbook used for this course obtained through Cengage Unlimited is:
    • Langer, C. L., Applying Theory to Generalist Social Work Practice, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2015. ISBN-10: 1-118-85976-6 or ISBN-13: 978-1-118-85976-6

Additional Resources

  • Articles, videos, and websites assigned by the instructor.

Course Schedule

Week

PLOs

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignments

1

1,2,6,7,8,9

1,4,5,9

TopicThe Role of Theories in Social Work Practice

  • Readings:
    • Introduction
    • Chapter 1
  • Article:
    • Using theory in social work practice
  • Review Getting Started information in Blackboard
  • Review course syllabus
  • Read assigned chapters and article
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions

2

1,6,7,8,9

1,4,6,9

Topics: Ecological and Systems Theories & The Task-Centered Model

  • Readings: 
    • Chapters 2 and 4
  • Article:
    • What About Social Justice? Confronting Race-Based Trauma
  • Video:
    • Task Centered Casework - Emergence of task-centered work
  • Other:
    • Review Ecomaps
  • Read assigned chapters, article, and additional materials
  • Review the assigned video
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete Quiz: Weeks 1 & 2

3

1,2,3,4,9

1,2,3,4,7

Topic: The Strengths Perspective & Empowerment Theory

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 3 and 8
  • Other:
    • Explore the National Empowerment Center
  • Read assigned chapters and additional materials
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete the Strengths Assessment

4

1-9

1,2,3,6,7

Topic: Conflict Theory, Humanism & Client-Centered Theory

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 5 and 6
  • Video:
    • Conflict Theory
    • Humanistic Theory
    • What is Empathy?
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the assigned videos
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete Quiz: Weeks 3 & 4

5

1,3,5,7,8,9

1-7

Topics: Solution-Focused Brief Therapy & Crisis Theory

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 10 and 11
  • Videos:
    • Insoo Kim Berg Solution-Focused Family Therapy
    • Karen Crisis Intervention
  • Other:
    • Website: Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy
  • Read assigned chapters and additional materials
  • Review the assigned videos
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions

6

1,2,4,9

1,2,4,6,9

Topics: Cognitive and Behavioral Theories & Narrative Theory

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 7 and 9
  • Video:
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Techniques
    • CBT Video 1 Part 1
    • Narrative Therapy Role Play
  • Other:
    • Website: Narrative Therapy
  • Read assigned chapters and additional materials
  • Review the assigned videos
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete Quiz: Weeks 5 & 6
  • Begin work on Week 7 Theory Paper

7

1-9

1-9

Topic: Feminist and Critical Theories

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 12
  • Video:
    • Critical Theory Explained
    • Critical Theory and the Now: A Contemporary Introduction to the Frankfurt School
  • Other:
    • Website: Feminist Theory in Sociology
  • Read assigned chapter and additional materials
  • Review the assigned videos
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Submit the Week 7 Theory Paper
  • Prepare for the Week 8 Final Exam

8

1-9

1-9

Topics: Transtheoretical Model & Theory and Practice: Pulling it All Together

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 13 and 14
  • Videos:
    • What Are the Stages of Change? Quit Smoking
    • Motivational Interviewing: Core Clinician Skills -- Introducing OARS
    • Motivational Interviewing - Good Example - Alan Lyme
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the assigned videos
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Complete Week 8 Final Exam
  • Complete Course Evaluation

Final Exam

Chapters 1-14

SLOs 1-9

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.