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Introduction to Social Work

This course is an introduction to the profession of social work and the human services delivery system. It examines the historical development of social work focusing on the knowledge, values, and skills that characterize the social worker. This course will orient the learner to the context for social work and focus on the foundational frameworks of the profession.

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Introduction to Social Work

There is one session available:

35 already enrolled!
After a course session ends, it will be archivedOpens in a new tab.
Starts Sep 6

Introduction to Social Work

This course is an introduction to the profession of social work and the human services delivery system. It examines the historical development of social work focusing on the knowledge, values, and skills that characterize the social worker. This course will orient the learner to the context for social work and focus on the foundational frameworks of the profession.

Introduction to Social Work
6 weeks
4–6 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
Free
Optional upgrade available

There is one session available:

After a course session ends, it will be archivedOpens in a new tab.
Starts Sep 6

About this course

Skip About this course

Social work is an exciting field and a marketable profession. Social workers make a positive difference in the lives of individuals every day in many different ways. This course will introduce learners to the profession of social work and the human services delivery system. Social work practice settings from a micro, mezzo, and macro level will be explored, such as, mental health, child welfare, substance abuse, older adults, poverty, criminal justice, and more.

Learners will examine the historical development of the social work profession focusing on the knowledge, values and skills that characterize the social worker. Students will be oriented to the context for social work practice and the foundational frameworks of the profession, to include, the strengths perspective,the socio-ecological model, and the biopsychosocial framework. Learners will also be introduced to the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and how to utilize the code to navigate ethical dilemmas and decision-making processes.

In this course learners will explore the concepts of social and economic justice and examine the characteristics of social injustice implicit in racism, classism, sexism, and gender orientation. The impact of social injustice is not always the same for people of color, women, or LGBTQ+. This course provides many opportunities to explore your own beliefs about diversity and social justice. Even though this is an asynchronous and self-paced course it is important to emphasize that the course should always be a safe environment that respects differences of opinion and recognizes that each of us is on our own journey in understanding diversity and communicating across cultures.

At a glance

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Gain an understanding of what a social worker is and does.
  • Gain an understanding of the importance of the NASW Code of Ethics to the profession of social work.
  • Define power, privilege, oppression, and intersectionality.
  • Summarize common theories, frameworks, and perspectives in the social work profession.
  • Describe the different levels of practice; micro, mezzo, macro.
  • Week 1: What is Social Work?
  • Week 2: Social Work Values and Ethics
  • Week 3: Theoretical Frameworks that guide practice
  • Week 4: Cultural competency
  • Week 5: Anti-racism
  • Week 6: Social Work Practice Settings

About the instructors

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