Competencies

MSW Foundation Competencies and Practice Behaviors

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
    1. Advocate for client access to the services of social work;
    2. Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development;
    3. Attend to professional roles and boundaries;
    4. Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication;
    5. Engage in career-long learning; and
    6. Use supervision and consultation.
  2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
    1. Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice;
    2. Make ethical decisions by applying standards of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles;
    3. Tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts; and
    4. Apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions.
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
    1. Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom;
    2. Analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation; and
    3. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues.
  4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
    1. Recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power;
    2. Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups;
    3. Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences; and
    4. View themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants.
  5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
    1. Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination;
    2. Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice; and
    3. Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.
  6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
    1. Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry and
    2. Use research evidence to inform practice.
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
    1. Utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation; and
    2. Critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
    1. Analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being; and
    2. Collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action.
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.
    1. Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services; and
    2. Provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services. 
  10. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
    1. Engagement
      1. Substantively and effectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities;
      2. Use empathy and other interpersonal skills; and
      3. Develop a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes.
    2. Assessment
      1. Collect, organize, and interpret client data;
      2. Assess client strengths and limitations;
      3. Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives; and
      4. Select appropriate intervention strategies.
    3. Intervention
      1. Initiate actions to achieve organizational goals;
      2. Implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities;
      3. Help clients resolve problems;
      4. Negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients; and
      5. Facilitate transitions and endings.
    4. Evaluation
      1. Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions.

Individuals and Families Concentration Competencies and Practice Behaviors

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
    1. Attend to complex interpersonal dynamics.
    2. Utilize supervision for ongoing professional development.
  2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
    1. Recognize own biases, values, and frameworks as they apply to clients and minimize the impact of these as necessary.
    2. Analyze ethical issues and apply ethical decision-making models across a range of complex practice contexts.
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
    1. Critique and apply multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge and practice wisdom in work with individuals, groups, and families.
    2. Communicate effectively and professionally, both orally and in writing, with a wide range of clients, colleagues, and organizations.
  4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
    1. Integrate cultural frameworks and respect for diversity in practice with individuals, groups, and families.
  5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
    1. Advocate for equitable access to high quality services to enhance the well-being of individuals, groups, and families.
    2. Promote human rights and social and economic justice for individuals, groups and families.
  6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
    1. Utilize the best available evidence in practice with individuals, groups, and families.
    2. Use practice experience to inform research or resource development.
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
    1. Integrate relevant conceptual frameworks in practice with individuals, groups, and families.
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
    1. Advocate  for  community, policy,  and  social  change  with  and  in  support  of individuals, groups, and families.
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.
    1. Integrate existing and emerging knowledge of policies, communities, and societies in working with individuals, groups, and families.
  10. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
    1. Engagement
      1. Use empathic and effective interviewing skills to build collaborative working relationships with individuals, groups, and families.
    2. Assessment
      1. Apply advanced theoretical perspectives and assessment models in practice with individuals, groups, and families.
      2. Assess clients using a strengths perspective.
    3. Intervention
      1. Apply advanced theoretical perspectives in selection of interventions for individuals, groups, and families.
      2. Implement interventions that effectively address the needs of individuals, groups, and families.
    4. Evaluation
      1. Evaluate practice and modify interventions to maximize the well-being of individuals, groups, and families.

Community and Organizational Practice Concentration Competencies and Practice Behaviors

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
    1. Attend to complex interpersonal dynamics.
    2. Engage effectively with diverse stakeholders across settings.
    3. Develop leadership skills, including skills necessary to supervise others in a human services setting.
  2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
    1. Recognize own biases, values, and frameworks as they apply to communities and organizations and minimize the impact of these as necessary.
    2. Analyze ethical issues and apply ethical decision-making models across a range of complex organizational and community contexts.
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
    1. Critique and apply multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge and practice wisdom in work with communities and organizations.
    2. Communicate effectively and professionally, both orally and in writing, with a wide range of clients, colleagues, and organizations.
  4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
    1. Integrate cultural frameworks and respect for diversity in practice with communities and organizations.
  5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
    1. Advocate with and on behalf of communities and organizations to promote human rights and social and economic justice
    2. Develop leadership to promote human rights, and social and economic justice.
  6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
    1. Utilize the best available evidence in practice with organizations and communities.
    2. Use practice experience to inform research or resource development.
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
    1. Integrate relevant conceptual frameworks in practice with communities and organizations.
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
    1. Apply policy practice skills with communities and organizations.
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.
    1. Integrate existing and emerging knowledge of individuals, groups, and families in working with communities and organizations.
    2. Develop leadership in engaging constituents to promote community, societal, and policy change.
  10. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
    1. Engagement
      1. Use empathic and effective interviewing skills to build collaborative working relationships with communities and organizations.
    2. Assessment
      1. Apply advanced theoretical perspectives and assessment models in practice with communities and organizations.
      2. Conduct strategic planning with communities and organizations.
    3. Intervention
      1. Apply advanced theoretical perspectives in selection of interventions with communities and organizations.
      2. Develop or improve community and organizational structures, programs, and policies that are responsive to stakeholder needs.
      3. Implement interventions that effectively address the needs of communities and organizations.
    4. Evaluation
      1. Evaluate practice and modify interventions to maximize the well-being of communities and organizations.