Introduction to Social Work
Social work practice is aimed at assisting individuals, groups, or communities to enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and creating societal conditions favorable to reach their goals.
The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics (1999).
Examples of Social Work Practice Settings and Activities
Social workers are employed in a variety of settings, examples include:
- Private practice
- Health Care Facilities
- Public Welfare Agencies
- Child Welfare Agencies
- Public and Private Schools
- Community Colleges, Colleges and Universities
- Communities Organizations
Social workers undertake a variety of activities, examples include:
- Counseling/Therapy with individuals, families, and groups
- Case Management/Consultation/Advocacy
- Plan, supervise, manage, and evaluate social programs
- Research social problems and analyze policies
Social Work Practice
Social work practice involves a systematic process and activity designed to assess client situations and help clients achieve prescribed goals and promote optimal health and well being
Social work practice includes an understanding of:
- human development and behavior, human diversity, interpersonal relationships and family dynamics
- mental disorders, stress, chemical dependency, interpersonal violence, and consequences of illness or injury
- impact of physical, social, and cultural environment
- cognitive, affective, and behavioral manifestations of conscious and unconscious process
Social workers have greatly expanded their roles to include the field of developmental disabilities. They need to be well-informed about medical advances, federal policy, ethical issues, and the latest social work practices when working with individuals who have a developmental disability.
NOTE: UW LEND Long-Term Trainees: Fill out Survey of Completion for each training module viewed.
Center on Human Development and Disability,
Clinical Training Unit, University of Washington,
Box 357920, Seattle, WA 98195-7920 firstname.lastname@example.org