Competencies

MSW Foundation Competencies and Behaviors

By the end of the Foundation year, students are expected to demonstrate the following competencies and behaviors which reflect a foundation in generalist practice:

1. Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior:

  • 1.1 Make ethical decisions by applying standards of the NASW Code of Ethics, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics as appropriate to context.
  • 1.2 Use self-reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism in practice situations.
  • 1.3 Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and oral, written, and electronic communication.
  • 1.4 Use technology ethically and appropriately to facilitate practice outcomes.
  • 1.5 Use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior.

2. Engage diversity and difference in practice

  • 2.1 Apply and communicate understanding of the importance of diversity and difference shaping life experiences in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
  • 2.2 Present themselves as learners and engage client and constituencies as experts of their own experience
  • 2.3 Apply self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse client and constituencies

3. Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice -

  • 3.1 Apply their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the individual and systems levels.
  • 3.2 Engage in practices that advance social, economic, and environmental justice.

 4. Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice

  •  4.1: Use practice experience and theory to inform scientific inquiry and research  
  • 4.2: Apply critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative  research methods and research findings.
  • 4.3: Use and translate research evidence to inform and improve practice, policy, and service delivery

5.   Engage in policy practice -

  • 5.1 Identify social policy and the local, state, and federal level that impacts well-being,service delivery, and access to social services.
  • 5.2 Assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services.
  • 5.3 Apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.

6.   Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities -

  • 6.1 Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies.
  • 6.2 Use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to engage diverse clients and constituencies.

 7.   Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities -

  • 7.1 Collect and organize data, and apply critical thinking to interpret information from clients and constituencies
  • 7.2 Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies.  
  • 7.3 Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives based on the critical assessment of strengths, needs, and challenges with clients and constituencies.
  • 7.4 Select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research, knowledge, and values and preferences of clients and constituencies.

8. Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities -

  • 8.1 Critically choose and implement interventions to achieve practice goals and enhance capacities of clients and constituencies.
  • 8.2 Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multi-disciplinary frameworks in interventions with clients and constituencies.
  • 8.3 Use inter-professional collaboration as appropriate to achieve beneficial practice outcomes.
  • 8.4 Negotiate, mediate, and advocate with and on behalf of diverse clients and constituencies.
  • 8.5 Facilitate effective transitions and endings that advance mutually agreed-on goals.


9.    Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities -

  • 9.1 Select and use appropriate methods of evaluation of outcomes
  • 9.2  Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the evaluation of outcomes
  • 9.3 Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate intervention and program processes andoutcomes.
  • 9.4  Apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.


Individuals and Families Concentration Competencies and Behaviors

By the end of the Concentration year students choosing the concentration of Individuals and Families are expected to demonstrate the following competencies and advanced behaviors which build upon their foundation in generalist practice:

1. Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior -

  • 1.1 Identify ethical issues. Determine and implement the most appropriate response(s).
  • 1.2  Conduct themselves professionally in accordance with relevant codes of ethic, laws,  policies, and professional standards.
  • 1.3 Establish and maintain clear professional boundaries.

2. Engage diversity and difference in practice -

  • 2.1 Employ key theoretical frameworks to explore diverse perspectives and life experiences.
  • 2.2 Demonstrate reverence for cultural differences and humility in learning about identities different from their own.
  • 2.3 Engage in continual self-reflection to recognize and challenge implicit and explicit biases, and vocally advocate for other to do the same.

3. Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice -

  • 3.1 Actively seek information on issues of social, economic, and environmental justice to inform advanced practice.
  • 3.2 Engage in advocacy practices to advance social, economic, and environmental justice at individual and systems levels.

4. Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.

  • 4.1 Use practice experience to inform research
  • 4.2 Utilize multiple sources of knowledge, e.g. empirical/research evidence, practice wisdom, client input, and/or contextual factors, when making practice decisions with individuals, families, and groups

5. Engage in policy practice -

  • 5.1:Demonstrate understanding of how policy manifests itself in the lives of clients
  • 5.2 Integrate existing and emerging knowledge of relevant local, state, and federal policies in working with individuals, families, and groups
  • 5.3 Advocate for community, policy, and social change with and in support of individuals, groups, and families

6. Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities -

  • 6.1 Engage with diverse clients and others in a professional, respectful, and empathic manner, taking into account their level of development and cultural context.
  • 6.2 Use effective interpersonal, communication, and interviewing skills to develop collaborative working relationships with individuals, families, and groups
  • 6.3 Demonstrate the ability to reflect on one’s role in facilitating or inhibiting engagement and to implement a plan to improve these skills.

7.  Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities -

  • 7.1 Conduct ongoing and comprehensive assessment using appropriate assessment methods and assessment tools as a basis for effective intervention
  • 7.2 Understand diagnoses in the context of comprehensive bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessment and examine implications for clients

8. Intervention with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities -

  • 8.1 Utilize comprehensive ongoing assessment as the basis for determining effective interventions.
  • 8.2 Collaborate with the client to develop clear and reasonable goals
  • 8.3 Select, apply, and facilitate appropriate interventions across levels (individual, family, group, organizations, and communities) as needed, in a strategic and collaborative manner.

9. Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities-

  • 9.1 Evaluate practice and modify interventions to maximize the wellbeing of individuals, families, and group
  • 9.2 Use results from practice evaluation to inform program and policy recommendations


Community and Organizational Practice Concentration Competencies and Behaviors

By the end of the Concentration year, students choosing the Communities and Organizational Practice concentration are expected to demonstrate the following competencies and advanced behaviors which build upon their foundation in generalist practice:

1. Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior

  • 1.1 Identify ethical issues. Determine and implement the most appropriate response(s)within a cultural humility framework
  • 1.2 Conduct themselves professionally in accordance with relevant codes of ethic, laws, policies, and professional standards.
  • 1.3 Provide leadership in making ethical decisions with diverse stakeholders in policy, community, and organizational practice arenas.

2. Engage diversity and difference in practice -

  • 2.1 Employ key theoretical frameworks to explore diverse perspectives and intersectionality within policies, organizations, and communities.
  • 2.2 Take steps to ensure culturally inclusive policies, organizations, and communities.

3. Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice -

  • 3.1 Apply their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights in policy, community, and organizational practice arenas
  • 3.2 Engage in advocacy practices to advance social, economic, and environmental justice.

4. Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice -

  • 4.1 Use practice experience to inform research, resource development, or intervention.
  • 4.2  Utilize the best available evidence when making policy, community, and organizational practice decisions.

5. Engage in policy practice -

  • 5.1 Engage and encourage stakeholders within communities and organizations to be active advocates for social, economic, and environmental justice
  • 5.2 Analyze and advocate to create or improve policies at the organizational, local, state, national, or global levels that further social, economic, and environmental justice.

6. Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities -

  • 6.1  Apply knowledge of policy, community, and organizational theories and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with diverse communities and organizations
  • 6.2 Use empathy, self-reflection, interpersonal skills and interprofessional collaboration with people from diverse economic, political, social, and cultural backgrounds to facilitate social, economic, and environmental justice and/or sustainable change.

7. Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

  • 7.1 Apply knowledge of community and organizational theories, multidisciplinary frameworks and policy to assess diverse communities and organizations.
  • 7.2 Work collaboratively with communities and organizations to identify, collect, and analyze various sources of information for comprehensive assessment.

8. Intervention with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities -

  • 8.1 Identify culturally appropriate, evidence-informed and evidence-based interventions with organizations and communities.
  • 8.2  Work with communities and organizations to implement interventions to achieve goals

9. Evaluate practice with individuals, families groups, organizations and communities -

  • 9.1 Identify and use knowledge of policy, evaluation methods, and practice experiences tow ork with stakeholders to evaluate interventions in communities and organizations.
  • 9.2 Use evaluation findings to inform program and policy change.