Agency Field Manual- The Curriculum
Preparation for General Social Work Practice
The social work program at St. Cloud State University is designed to prepare students for entry level generalist social work practice.
The generalist social work practitioner:
- possesses a strength based ecological systems perspective which assists in understanding the relationships between people and their environment;
- focuses on the biological, psychological, social, spiritual, and cultural strengths of client systems;
- recognizes the importance of holistic assessments;
- resists efforts to isolate, fragment, and disempower people through linear deficit based individualistic assessment methods;
- seeks to understand the complex relationships of multiple systems as they impact the opportunities and well-being of people;
- focuses on the improvement of the interaction between systems;
- focuses on those interactions that build personal strength and collective power;
- is able to use the stages of social work practice (engagement, data collection, assessment, intervention, evaluation, and termination) at all levels of systems in order to assist client systems with desired changes;
- works collaboratively with client systems toward achieving contracted goals, resisting pressures to impose values and others' concepts of desirable outcomes on client systems;
- engages in the stages of social work practice with special attention to diversity in order to promote social justice and personal well-being at the individual, group, family, organization, and community levels;
- articulates the need for specific changes, assists clients with solving personal and interpersonal problems, links consumers with formal and informal resources, develops and facilitates mutual aid groups, works with groups and organizations on social justice issues, and promotes change in formal organizations in order to humanize social service systems;
- is committed to the ongoing development of the knowledge, skills, and ability needed to practice from the value base of the social work profession.
(Adapted from the SCSU statement on Generalist Social Work Practice, 1995).
The generalist social work practitioner works from a distinct value base which includes:
- holding in highest regard the worth and dignity of all people;
- respecting client systems' right to make independent decisions and participate actively in the helping process;
- a commitment to assisting client systems in obtaining needed resources;
- a commitment to working toward making social institutions more humane and responsive to human needs;
- demonstrating respect for and acceptance of the unique characteristics of diverse populations;
- a commitment to adhering to the codes of ethical behavior that govern the social work profession, including the NASW Code of Ethics and the Code of Ethics of the Minnesota Board of Social Work.
(Adapted from the CSWE Curriculum Policy Statement, 1994, pp. 100-101).