UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO                          

JANE ADDAMS COLLEGE OF SOCIAL WORK

 

Fall, 2007

Mark Mattaini, DSW, ACSW

http://home.earthlink.net/~mattaini

Room 4541

mattaini@earthlink.net

 

SOCW 430: PRACTICE I: GENERALIST PRACTICE

WITH INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, AND GROUPS

 

PREREQUISITE: Admission to MSW Program

 

CREDITS: 3

 

DESCRIPTION

 

Practice I and II present generalist social work as a basic helping method used by social workers to assist individuals, groups, families, organizations, and communities to achieve personal and social change. Consistent with the College mission, Practice I is committed to educating professional social workers who can provide leadership in the development and implementation of policies and services on behalf of the poor, the oppressed, racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, and other at-risk urban populations.

 

Practice I provides an overview of generalist social work as a method and process covering fundamental concepts, values, principles, and skills with special attention to Individuals, Families, and Groups. The course is taught in an ecosystems, empowerment, and strengths framework that integrates culturally competent and ethno-conscious practice across systems in a community context. Practice labs provide opportunities for knowledge and skill application including case examples and content focusing on current issues in social work and social welfare.

 

TEXTS

 

Required:

 

Mattaini, M. A., & Lowery, C. T. (2007). Foundations of social work practice: A graduate text (4th ed.). Washington, DC: NASW Press.

 

Saleebey, D. (Ed.). (2006). The strengths perspective in social work practice (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

 

Ross, R. (2006). Returning to the teachings (2nd ed.). Toronto: Penguin Canada.

 

Students should also be very familiar with the current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

 

Online and Electronic Reserve Readings:  Additional readings for the course are available in one of two ways. Some are available online through the library website, and others are available on electronic reserve (ERes). Please see separate instructions distributed to all students for how to access those readings. Plan ahead on these readings; occasionally the online and ERes systems go down.

 

Recommended:

 

Reid, W. J. (2000). The task planner: An intervention resource for human service professionals. New York: Columbia University Press.

 

OBJECTIVES

 

Knowledge:

1. Comprehend the basic concepts and principles of the generalist social work method for collaborative assessment, planning, and intervention.

2. Understand the relationship between the generalist social work method and the professional value base of social work within an ethical framework.

3. Discern how the dynamics of power and oppression relate to social issues and the social work response.

4. Recognize how characteristics of age, culture, race, class and income level, religion or spirituality, disability, gender, and sexual orientation affect the helping process.

5. Achieve a beginning understanding of practice theories related to individuals, families, and groups.

6. Achieve a beginning understanding of evidence-based practice and various methods for assessing effectiveness.

 

Skills:

1. Develop beginning skills in the professional use of self and empathic sensitivity in the communication between workers and client systems.

2. Apply critical thinking skills within professional contexts, including synthesizing and applying appropriate theories and knowledge to practice interventions.

3. Apply an ecosystems and strengths-based perspective that demonstrates an understanding of the multiple contexts for individual, family, and group functioning.

4. Identify issues of oppression and strategies for pursuing social justice within agency and community settings.

5. Implement a collaborative, shared power approach to assessment, planning, and implementation focusing on strengths and resources consistent with social work values and ethics, and the College mission.

6. Develop an ability to operationalize the generalist intervention process for defining issues, engaging with client systems, collecting and assessing data, identifying a focus for work, contracting within a planned change process, implementing and evaluating an intervention, and termination and follow-up.

7. Use appropriate methods and technological advances to monitor and evaluate intervention outcomes at the individual, family, and group levels.

 

EVALUATION-BASIS FOR GRADING

 

All students will be held accountable for adhering to academic and non-academic standards of conduct as described in the JACSW Student Handbook, available on the College website. Additional copies can be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs.

 

1.  Class Participation (20% of grade). The course is heavily experiential, and therefore participation is required. Participation is defined as on-time attendance for complete class sessions, attentive non-verbal behavior; offering comments relevant to course discussions, and active participation in in-class laboratory exercises. Class sessions you do not attend will be graded 0.  Please treat colleagues with respect and maintain confidentiality regarding any personal information shared in class sessions.  Clients should never be individually identifiable in written or oral discussions; in some cases you may need to change pertinent information or present some information only in general terms to maintain confidentiality (further discussion of this area will be included in our consideration of professional ethics).

 

2.  Monitoring Assignments (10% of grade). Weekly written monitoring assignments using the format presented during the first class session.  Late submissions are not accepted. (Form available here, as well as from the instructor.)

 

3. Interteaching Records (30% of grade).  A portion of each class session after the first will be spent in interteaching, a process in which student dyads will work together to answer specific questions applying the required readings for that week to practice situations. The answers developed will be submitted in written form and graded.  To participate in interteaching, students must have previously read the material; time in interteaching sessions cannot be spent skimming the required readings, but rather on developing answers to the questions distributed.  Everyone is absolutely expected to complete all assigned readings, and to come to every class session prepared.  Acceptable comments should reflect critical thinking. For example, the following excerpt is acceptably professional:

 

        “Parts of Pamela Miller's critique of the contract model appear to be misguided. The contract model does not dictate a minimalist approach to social work. On the contrary, the contract protects the client by making the social worker accountable. In addition, the contract usually reflects a reciprocal understanding between worker and client of the client's problem.”

 

The following excerpt, by contrast, is not acceptably professional, either in content or grammatically:

 

        Pamela Millers' article is silly. In my exprience, and according to my therapist, contracts should always be used by social workers. The critiqe therefore is unfair.”

 

4.  Social Justice in Practice Paper (15% of grade). A 6-8 page (APA style) discussion of social justice issues as they play out in the practice setting and context of your field placement, due at the 8th class session (10/22). This paper should focus on what happens during practice, and events that occur in practice and other immediate live settings for clients, not on larger policy issues (although certainly those can be noted). Some use of the social justice literature is expected, but this paper focuses particularly on observation of and reflections on specific events and transactions.

 

5.  Final Paper (25% of the course grade). A 12-14 page paper (APA style), demonstrating a clear understanding of the practice process (engagement, envisioning, assessment, and intervention) within a shared power, generalist practice framework as applied to an actual person or family is due at the 13th class session (11/26). A suggested outline for this paper will be distributed at the 10th class session. It is possible to complete this paper even if you are only seeing clients once. (Students working only with groups should contact the instructor well in advance to discuss how to approach this paper.)

 

Papers will be graded as follows. For the social justice paper, the emphasis is on content and integration; for the final paper, use of literature is equally important. Style and presentation is important for both papers:

 

Use of literature: (use of WWW resources is encouraged, but such resources should not constitute a majority of literature cited)

Expected: Coherent application of course readings, 3.0

Excellent: Coherent application of course readings and at least 8 others, 3.5

Outstanding: Outstanding application of course readings and at least 20 others, 4.0

 

Content and Conceptual integration:

Expected: Paper is clearly organized, with clear connections between sections, 3.0

Excellent: Paper is clearly organized, and content reflects an analysis based on critical thinking, 3.5

Outstanding: Content of paper clearly goes far beyond the level expected of a beginning graduate student in ways that can be clearly specified by the reader. Papers achieving this level should begin to approach publishable quality, and are very uncommon; 4.0

 

Style and presentation:

Expected: On-time, APA style, with minimal grammatical errors and of quality that would be acceptable in agency practice. 3.0

Outstanding: Presentation goes far beyond the level expected of a graduate student. 4.0

 

Note that grades are not curved; cooperation among students is encouraged, and competition will not benefit anyone in this system. Please keep in mind that the purpose of professional school is not to work for grades, but to prepare for practice that will contribute to collective well-being; grades are used to encourage active engagement in learning activities and are not a reflection of your value as a human being!

 

STUDENTS REQUIRING ACCOMMODATION FOR DISABILITIES

Students requiring accommodations for disability must follow established University procedures, as follows:

I. Go to the UIC Office of Disability Services to obtain confidential verification of the disability and a statement of accommodations recommended by that office.

2. Show the UIC Office of Disability Services accommodation letter to the instructor of the class for which the student requests accommodation. In the case of field instruction classes, the letter should be shown to the College field liaison or the Director of Field.

3. Accommodation letters are to be shown to the instructor at the beginning of the course or before the start of the course.

 

CELLULAR TELEPHONES AND PAGERS: Cellular phones and pagers may not be used in the classroom. Please consult with your instructor regarding genuinely emergency situations.

 

TOPICAL OUTLINE

 

Sessions 1 & 2 (8/27 & 9/10). THE SOCIAL WORK PROFESSION AND SOCIAL WORK MISSION

• Critical approach to knowledge-building and practice effectiveness

• Development of professional self and identity

• Introduction to generalist practice including methods, models, and fields of practice

 

READINGS (2-Week Assignment):

Mattaini, M. A., & Lowery, C. T. (2007). Foundations of Social Work Practice. Chapter 1, Foundations.

Cates, J. C. (2007). Compassion, Control and Justice in Social Work History. Chapter 7, Foundations.

 

LAB 1: Self-knowledge for practice

LAB 2: Empathic Listening

 

Session 3 (9/17). SOCIAL WORK VALUES AND ETHICS

• Code of Ethics, Ethical dilemmas

• Accountable practice as an ethical issue

 

READINGS:

NASW Code of Ethics (Appendix A, Foundations).

Mattison, M. (2007). Professional Values and Ethics. Chapter 4, Foundations.

Strom-Gottfried, K. (2003). Understanding adjudication: Origins, targets, and outcomes of ethics complaints. Social Work, 48, 85-94.  Online

Lowery, C. T. (2007). Social Justice and International Human Rights. Chapter 3, Foundations.  (focus on women’s issues, women’s rights as human rights)

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Appendix B, Foundations)

 

LAB 3a: Ethical practice

LAB 3b: Morality & Social Justice

 

Session 4 (9/24). THEORIES/PERSPECTIVES

• Ecosystems

• Strengths

• Generalist Intervention Process

 

READINGS:

Mattaini, M. A., & Lowery, C. T. (2007). Perspectives for practice. Chapter 2, Foundations.

Saleebey, D. (2006). Chapter 1: Introduction: Power to the People, & Chapter 5: The strengths approach to practice. In Saleebey.

Mattaini, M. A. (2007). Generalist Practice: People and Programs. Chapter 13, Foundations.

 

        LAB 4: Transactional Ecomapping

 

Session 5 (10/1). MODELS FOR WORKING WITH INDIVIDUALS, ENGAGEMENT, ASSESSMENT & PLANNING

• Overview of prevalent models used in work with individuals

• Emphasis on strengths, diversity and social justice

• Voluntary and involuntary clients

• Community context for work with individuals

• Begin content on engagement with individuals

• Identifying a focus for work

• Assessment with models highlighted above

• Methods of assessment within framework of strengths, empowerment, and ecosystems

• Culturally competent assessment

• Introduce monitoring as an on-going assessment process

 

         READINGS:

Mattaini, M. A. (2007). Chapter 7: Practice with Individuals. Chapter 8, Foundations.

Cowger, C., & Snively, C. (2006). Assessing client strengths: Individual, Family and Community empowerment. Chapter 6 in Saleebey.

Solomon, A. (1992). Clinical diagnosis among diverse populations: A multicultural perspective. Families in Society, 73(6), 371-7. (online)

Canda, E. R. (2006). The significance of spirituality for resilient response to chronic illness: A qualitative study of adults with cystic fibrosis. Chapter 4 in Saleebey.

 

LAB 5: Engagement & Assessment Exercises

 

Session 6 (10/8). PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING INTERVENTIONS WITH INDIVIDUALS

• Goal setting, treatment planning, and contracting

• Types of social work interventions, e.g. case management

• Roles and functions of social workers in the helping relationship e.g. broker, mediator

 

READINGS:

Fast, B., & Chapin, R. (2006). The strengths model with older adults: Critical practice components. Chapter 9 in Saleebey.

Weick, A.  & Chamberlain, R.  (2006). Solving Problems from a Strengths Perspective, Chapter 7 in Saleebey.

Kisthardt, W. E. (2006). The opportunities and challenges of strengths-based, person-centered practice. Chapter 10 in Saleebey.

Anderson, F. S. (2005). Generalist practice with gay and lesbian clients. In J. Poulin with contributors, Strengths-based generalist practice (pp. 357-383). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.(ERes) READ CRITICALLY

 

LAB 6: Work with Transactional Webs

 

Session 7 (10/15). EVALUATION OF PRACTICE AND PRACTICE EFFECTIVENESS

• Evidence-based practice

• Managed care

• Documentation and record-keeping

• Skills for monitoring outcomes in individual practice

• Practice effectiveness and diversity issues

 

READINGS:

Mattaini, M.A. (2007). Chapter 6: Monitoring Social Work Practice. In Foundations.

Gambrill, E. (1999). Evidence-based practice: an alternative to authority-based practice. Families in Society, 80, 341-350. (online)

Rapp, R. C. (2006). Strengths-based case management: Enhancing treatment for persons with substance abuse problems. Chapter 8 in Saleebey.

 

LAB 7: Practice Monitoring

 

Session 8 (10/22). DIVERSITY, CULTURAL COMPETENCY, ACCULTURATION, ETHNO-CONSCIOUS PRACTICE

• Empowerment and shared power

• Relationship between ethno-conscious practice and oppression

• Intergroup relations

• Welfare reform

 

READINGS:

Lowery, C. T. (2007). Diversity, Ethnic Competence, and Social Justice. Chapter 5 in Foundations.

Waller, M. (2006). Strengths of indigenous peoples. Chapter 3 in Saleebey.

Ross, pp. x-135. (Chapters: The movement towards teaching and healing; healing inside the whirlwind of sexual abuse; Digging for the roots of the healing vision; Towards a fluid reality; Watch your language)

Baptist, W. et al. (2006). That history becomes you: Slave narratives and today’s movement to end poverty. Chapter 12 in Saleebey, 2006.

 

LAB 8: Diversity & Culture

 

Session 9 (10/29). PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING INTERVENTIONS WITH INDIVIDUALS

• Types of social work interventions, e.g. solution-focused

• Maintenance and termination

 

READINGS:

Chapter 14: Honoring philosophical traditions: The strengths model and the social environment. In Saleebey, 2006.

Watkins, A. M., & Kurtz, P. D. (2001). Using solution-focused intervention to address African American male overrepresentation in special education: A case study. Children & Schools, 23, 223-234. (online)

Lethem, J. (2002). Brief solution focused therapy. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 7(4), 189-192. (online; look for “Child and …” not “Child &”)3

Black, C. J. (2003). Translating principles into practice: Implementing the feminist and strengths perspectives in work with battered women. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 18, 332-349. (online)

 

LAB 9: Ecobehavioral and cognitive behavioral practice with individuals

 

Session 10 (11/5). MODELS FOR WORKING WITH FAMILIES, ENGAGEMENT, ASSESSMENT & PLANNING

• Overview of prevalent models used in work with couples and families

• Definition of family, family treatment, and recognition of family variations

• Indications for family work and engagement of the family (including reluctant members)

• Cultural issues in engagement of families

• Identifying focal concern(s)

• Assessment of the family including alliances, communications, strengths, conflict, hierarchy in the context of the family's ethnicity/culture

• Assessment of the ecosystem

• Assessment of the focal concern(s)

• Plan to monitor changes in foci

• Choosing foci that give all family members something to gain

• Establishing an agreement/contract for work (time limits, participants, foci, goals)

 

READINGS:

Mattaini, M.A. (1999). Clinical Intervention with Families, Washington, DC: NASW Press. Chapters 1 (An ecobehavioral perspective on the family; pp. 3-23), & 2 (The practice process with families; pp. 24-59). (ERes)

Benard, B. (2006). Using strengths-based practice to tap the resilience of families. Chapter 11 in Saleebey.

Early, T. J., & GlenMaye, L. F. (2000). Valuing families: Social work practice with families from a strengths perspective. Social Work, 45, 118-130. (online)

 

LAB 10: Engagement and Assessment with Families

 

Session 11 (11/12). PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING INTERVENTIONS WITH FAMILIES

• Involving the family in developing interventions

• Culturally relevant intervention strategies with couples

• Culturally relevant intervention strategies with families

• Implementing interventions in the home

 

READINGS:

Lowery, C.T. (2007). Social work with families. Chapter 9 in Foundations.

Patterson, S. L., & Marsiglia, F. F. (2000). "Mi casa es su casa": Beginning exploration of Mexican Americans' Natural Helping. Families in Society, 81(1), 22-31. (online)

Laird, J. (1996). Family-centered practice with lesbian and gay families. Families in Society, 77(9), 559-572. (online)

Saleebey, D. (2004). The power of place: Another look at the environment. Families in Society, 85, 7-16. (online)

 

LAB 11: Family Communication

 

Session 12 (11/19). PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING INTERVENTIONS WITH FAMILIES, CLINICAL SUPERVISION

• Intervening in the family context

• Evaluating outcomes and modifying intervention strategies

• Maintenance of change and termination

 

READINGS:

Henggeler, S. W., Schoenwald, S. K., Borduin, C. M., Rowland, M. S., & Cunningham, P. B. (1998). Multisystemic treatment of antisocial behavior in children and adolescents. New York: Guilford. Chapter 1: Empirical, conceptual, and philosophical bases of MST (pp. 3-20); and Chapter 2: Clinical foundations of MST (pp. 21-57). (ERes) (includes material on supervision)

Walsh, F. (1997). Family therapy: Systems approaches to clinical practice. In J. R. Brandell (Ed.), Theory and Practice in Clinical Social Work (pp. 132-163). NY: The Free Press. (ERes)

 

LAB 12: Multisystemic intervention and clinical supervision

 

Session 13 (11/26). GROUP - INTRODUCTION, ENGAGEMENT & ASSESSMENT

• Overview of prevalent models used in group work

• Mutual aid and empowerment perspective

• Preplanning stage of group work-composition and design

• Multicultural issues-group composition

• Preaffiliation stage of group work-engagement skills

• Establishing group structure & purpose

• Worker's role and skills

 

READINGS:

Magen, R.H. (2007). Practice with groups. Chapter 10 in Foundations.

DeCarlo, A., & Hockman, E. (2003) RAP Therapy: A group work intervention model for urban adolescents. Social Work with Groups, 26(3), 45-59. (online)

Harvey, A. R., & Rauch, J. B. (1997). A comprehensive Afrocentric rites of passage program for black male adolescents. Health and Social Work, 22, 30-37. (online)

Berwald, C., & Houtstra, T. (2002). Joining feminism and social group work practice: A women’s disability group. Social Work with Groups, 25(4), 71-83. (ERes)

Parker, L. (2003). A social justice model for clinical social work practice. Affilia, 18, 272-288. (online)

 

LAB: Group work with women; group work with adolescents

 

Session 14. (12/3) GROUP MIDDLE/WORK PHASES. MONITORING AND INTERVENING IN GROUP DYNAMICS. REVIEW AND INTEGRATION OF GENERALIST PRACTICE.

• Worker role & skills

• Evaluating group member change/evaluating design and facilitation

• Assessing group dynamics

 

READINGS:

Ross, 131-277. (Chapters: The first step to reconnection; The healing path has potholes, too; The whirlpool vision of crime; At the crossroads; Choosing the healing path; Getting started on the healing path; And finally … the starting point)

Smokowski, R. P., Rose, S., Todar, K., and Reardon, K. (1999). Post-group-casualty status, group events, and leader behavior: An early look into the dynamics of damaging group experiences. Research on Social Work Practice, 9, 555-574. (online)

Saleebey, D. (2006). Community development, neighborhood empowerment and individual resilience. Chapter 13 in Saleebey, 2006.

 

LAB 14: Culture circles and talking circles