The Role of the Social Work Profession in Meeting its Historical Mission to Serve Vulnerable Populations (1 Credit Hour)

Program Summary:  The course includes first hand accounts from social work practitioners who examine how the field of social work has historically delivered services to the poor and oppressed.  The course examines the profession’s historical affinity for social casework over social justice and describes various casework approaches which primarily served the middle class and not the poor. The course describes how the profession was reminded of its founding mission and concern for the disempowered during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s.

This course is recommended for social workers and is appropriate for beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of practice.  This course is not recommended for NBCC credit.

NASW Code of Ethics

Value: Social Justice 

Ethical Principle: Social workers challenge social injustice. 
Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers’ social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.

The authors write:

Our task in this paper is to highlight the profession’s role in the preparation of practitioners in the delivery of services as well as how the field has historically delivered services to people of color and vulnerable populations. Our observations are drawn from our eye witness accounts from the latter part of the twentieth century, particularly from the 1960s to the 1980s.

What were you taught about providing services to poor, oppressed, and vulnerable populations when you were first trained?  What have you learned as part of your practice?  How have you seen the profession change?  How do you think it should change in the future?

Course Reading:  The Profession’s Role in Meeting its Historical Mission to Serve Vulnerable Populations

Author:  Dorcas Davis Bowles  and June Gary Hopps

Publisher:  Advances in Social Work

Find the reading at:  http://advancesinsocialwork.iupui.edu/index.php/advancesinsocialwork/article/view/16677/17011

Course Objectives:  To enhance professional practice, values, skills, and knowledge by identifying key issues related to the social work profession and its mission to serve vulnerable populations.

Learning Objectives:  Identify how the social work profession has served (or failed to serve) vulnerable populations.  Identify the ways that race, gender, and class have impacted social work practice for the past half-century.  Describe the evolution of social work training over the past half-century.

Review our pre-reading study guide.

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1: Social ethicist Daniel Maguire (1980) described a framework for determining which groups are so disadvantaged that they need preference in governmental programs and services. Which of the following is not a part of this framework:
 
 
 
 
 
2: Fill in the blanks:  Prior to the Great Depression, services were delivered primarily through _______ auspices and largely to _____ populations.
 
 
 
 
3: Which of the following low-wage work settings were initially excluded from the Social Security program.
 
 
 
 
4: Bowles and Hopps describe social work's movement to the mental health domain.  What historical event do they describe as the 'usher' for this movement?
 
 
 
 
5: How do the authors characterize the relationship between social workers and their clients in the period between the 1920s and the 1950s?
 
 
 
 
6: The publication of what book in the early 1960s challenged the casework paradigm in social work that was prevalent at that time?
 
 
 
 
7: During the 1960s, what percentage of applicants to social work programs selected the casework track?
 
 
 
 
8: During the 1960s, what percentage of applicants to social work programs selected the community organization track?
 
 
 
 
9: When was the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) formed?
 
 
 
 
10: The second era in the feminist movement saw its focus shift to issues of _________.
 
 
 
 
11: When did the Council on Social Work Education Curriculum Policy Statement first include the requirement that oppression and injustice be included in the curriculum of social work schools?
 
 
 
 

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After you log in, a link will appear here that will allow you to purchase this course.

 

Free State Social Work, LLC, provider #1235, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Free State Social Work, LLC maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 9/6/2018 - 9/6/2021. Social Workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social Workers participating in this course will receive 1 continuing education clock hour.

Free State Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP NO. 6605. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Free State Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

G.M. Rydberg-Cox, MSW, LSCSW is the Continuing Education Director at Free State Social Work and responsible for the development of this course.  She received her Masters of Social Work in 1996 from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago and she has over 20 years of experience.  She has lived and worked as a social worker in Chicago, Boston, and Kansas City.  She currently practices in the area of hospital/medical social work.  The reading materials for this course were developed by another organization.