Building on the foundation of knowledge, analysis and critical reflection, students choose one of two practice concentrations for their final year of the program: Clinical Social Work or Community, Practice, Policy and Advocacy.
Clinical Social Work
Clinical social work is a specialized form of social work practice with individuals, families, and groups. The concentration reflects the School’s mission to promote social and economic justice and enhance individual, regional, national, and global well-being, and emphasizes the School’s focus on critical and creative thinking and social work practice within a professional code of ethics that respects the rights of clients, especially as related to self-determination, privacy, and confidentiality. The two practice courses in the Clinical Social Work concentration, set in a biopsychosocial framework that encompasses the eco-systemic and strengths perspectives, are informed by a risk and protective factor framework and by psychodynamic, psychosocial, and developmental theories. Emphasis is placed on the knowledge, skills, and values required to enter the social work profession as a clinical social worker. In addition, there is a strong focus on the enhancement of the processes of engagement, multi-systemic differential assessment, intervention planning, implementation, and termination, the socio-cultural context of practice, and the differential use of self.
Community Practice, Policy, and Advocacy
The Community Practice, Policy, and Advocacy concentration prepares students for professional macro-level social work practice that promotes the ability to analyze, develop, and implement public policy to most effectively advocate for those served by professional social workers. The concentration emphasizes community organization and development, needs assessment, organizational analysis, frameworks for policy analysis, and program development related to the evolution of social policy in local, national, and global settings. It prepares students with the knowledge, skills, and values required to promote social change that can improve the lives of vulnerable and at-risk individuals, families, groups, and communities. Finally, this concentration stresses the critical analysis of current trends in relation to policy, advocacy, and activism, paying particular attention to the socio-cultural context of social work practice and to issues that can affect not only policy practice but also how institutional practices impact groups differentially, raising critical advocacy and practice dilemmas.