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Article

This entry describes the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and explores challenges facing the organization. Founded in 1928, the IASSW is the worldwide organization representing social work education. Comprising member schools and individuals across six continents, it works, in spite of funding and voluntary leadership challenges, to create a globally inclusive organization, promote international exchange, and extend the influence of social work education at the United Nations and with other regional and international bodies.

Article

Kimberly Strom-Gottfried

Continuing education (CE) refers to an array of opportunities by which professionals can augment existing knowledge and skills. CE is essential for professional competence, career development, and compliance with licensing rules and other regulations. CE is offered through a variety of auspices, methods, and venues. Advances in instructional technology and electronic communication have further expanded access to CE opportunities. Ongoing challenges in CE include strategies for assuring quality in CE programming and adequately evaluating skill and knowledge acquisition.

Article

Kathy Absolon and Giselle Dias

A paradigm shift in Indigenous social work education centers on Indigenous knowledge. Indigenous educators are asserting the place of Indigenous knowledge, language, and culture in Indigenous social work education and have been leaders in generating significant changes over the last 40 years. Shifts have occurred over a continuum time spanning pre-contact and contact through colonization, education as a mechanism of the colonial project, movements of Indian control over Indigenous education, decolonizing education, and into the paradigm of Indigegogy. The article focuses on Indigegogy illustrating a deeper look of Indigegogy as an Indigenist paradigm. The intention of this article is to contribute to the understanding and knowledge of Indigegogy within an Indigenist paradigm with the intention of continuing the return of Indigenous social work education back to Indigenous peoples interested in learning the ways of the people, in the ways of the people.

Article

Julia M. Watkins and Jessica Holmes

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) provides leadership in social work education through faculty development, research, and accreditation of baccalaureate and master's social work programs. As of February 2012, 689 social work programs were accredited by CSWE. These programs represent an estimated 7,500 faculty members and 82,000 students at the baccalaureate and master's levels. CSWE promotes continued educational innovation and relevancy through setting accreditation standards, which are regularly revised by volunteer representatives from the social work education and practice community and approved by the CSWE Board of Directors.

Article

Higher education continues to undergo a period of rapid change with the rise of new technologies and learning modalities. The increased use of technology applications, computers, the Internet, and course management software systems has resulted in the development and widespread implementation of technology-supported learning environments in social work education throughout the world. New terms and abbreviations, such as online learning, web-based learning, blended learning, e-learning, learning management systems), computer-aided instruction, computer-supported instruction, technology-enhanced learning, internet-based training, and virtual learning environments are impacting the delivery of higher education for both distance and on-campus modes of instruction. The massive open online course (MOOC) movement and use of data analytics about students has pushed more faculty to experiment with technology and new pedagogical approaches. The article provides an overview of current technology applications and how they are being used in social work education. Implications of using technology in social work education include educational quality issues, pedagogical, and philosophical concerns, and future trends and challenges will also be discussed.

Article

Education in social work has seen considerable growth over the course of the 20th century. Social work education in the United States began with only a few training programs established in partnership with charitable organizations at the end of the 19th century (Austin, 1997), and has grown to 641 accredited baccalaureate and master's programs at of the February, 2007 Commission on Accreditation meeting, and over 70 doctoral programs (Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education, 2007). These programs represent over 7,000 faculty and administrators and over 60,000 students at the baccalaureate and master's level (Council on Social Education, 2007). Social work education is available at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral level with at least one level of program represented in each of the states, as well as in the United States' Territories of Puerto Rico and Guam. Concentrations and specializations are offered in programs in many areas from practice levels (for example, direct practice, policy analysis) or areas of interest (for example, child welfare, medical social work, housing policy). Current trends in social work education include the use of distance education, the call for more accountability from accrediting bodies and social work programs (Watkins & Pierce 2005), and work toward unification in social work professional organizations (Hoffman, 2006).

Article

The Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE) is the social work organization committed to promoting rigor in North American social work and social welfare doctoral program. GADE plays a vital role in supporting social work doctoral programs in training future social work researchers, scholars, and educators. GADE develops and updates the aspirational guidelines for quality in PhD programs, provides support to doctoral programs and doctoral program directors in program administration, collaborates with other national and international social work organizations, and serves as the leading voice for doctoral education in the field. This article traces the history of GADE from the early beginnings of social work doctoral education in the early 20th century, through the establishment of GADE in the 1977 to promote the research doctorate, and ending with GADE’s activities today.

Article

Frederic G. Reamer

Digital, online, and other electronic technology has transformed the nature of social work practice and education. Contemporary social workers can provide services to clients through online counseling, telephone counseling, video counseling, cybertherapy (avatar therapy), self-guided web-based interventions, electronic social networks, e-mail, and text messages. In addition, increasing numbers of social work education programs are using distance education technology to teach their students. Social work administrators store electronic records in the “cloud” and community organizers use online social networking sites to facilitate their work. The introduction of diverse digital, online, and other forms of electronic social services has created a wide range of complex ethical and related risk management issues. This article provides an overview of current technology used in social work, identifies compelling ethical issues, and explores risk management issues. The author identifies relevant standards from the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics; model regulatory standards adopted by the Association of Social Work Boards; and practice standards adopted jointly by the National Association of Social Workers, Association of Social Work Boards, Council on Social Work Education, and Clinical Social Work Association

Article

Maria Rodriguez and Jama Shelton

Social media are defined as applications and websites that allow users to share content, usually of their own making. Social media users include individuals and organizations across a broad range of social strata. Key social work organizations, such as the National Association of Social Workers and the Association of Social Work Boards, have begun noting the proliferation of social media usage in education and practice and have begun developing guidelines to govern their use. The American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, in their Grand Challenges of Social Work initiative, highlighted social media as an important area of growth for research and education. Despite the field’s nascent enthusiasm, practical and ethical concerns persist. This article defines social media; discusses its usage in social work practice, research, and education; and discusses the ethical and practical considerations in each domain.

Article

Ann Rosegrant Alvarez

Despite many debates about the meaning and implications of multiculturalism, it remains an important concept within social work and other professional and academic disciplines. The basic idea of multiculturalism in social work education is that social work students need to learn to work effectively with people from many different cultures, and that this will have a positive impact on their social work practice and on outcomes for those with whom they work. It has been linked to issues of power, oppression, and social change. Future directions include focus on intersectionality and continued development of the implementation and implications of multiculturalism within social work education.

Article

Larry D. Williams, Blenda Crayton, and Agha Erum Agha

The history of social work education is replete with accounts of how the early charity organizations influenced its development. For example, Toynbee Hall in London inspired the founding of Hull House in Chicago as well as the London Charity Organization, the Women’s University Settlement, and the National Union of Women Workers. In addition, Octavia Hill established one of the first training programs in social work education that emphasized the principles for helping impoverished clients. The program was later expanded in 1890 into a one-year program of courses and supervised practice. Later, the program expanded to outlying areas and provinces and eventually evolved into two-year programs of study at the London School of Sociology Defining today’s baccalaureate social workers as entry-level professionals is indeed a paradigm shift. Tracy Whitaker, Toby Weismiller, and Elizabeth Clark stated in their 2006 work, “Clearly, the social work profession is at a crossroad. If there are to be adequate numbers of social workers to respond to the needs of clients in the 21st century and beyond, the sufficiency of this frontline workforce, must not only be ensured, it must be prioritized.” In our ever-changing society, the social work profession must rethink the various levels of the profession and recognize, as well as promote, a professional career trajectory that embraces the baccalaureate social work professional. Administrators and faculty of each social work program are responsible for ensuring that students are competent, and that they possess skill sets that will elevate their marketable in a competitive workforce. Recruiting new social workers, replacing retiring social workers, and retaining social workers in the profession are all needed.

Article

Field education has played a significant role in the professional development of social workers since the beginning of the last century. Although the apprenticeship model of training continues to play a significant role, variations on this theme have been explored and continue to be developed in response to political, academic, and economic challenges. Technological advances will enable programs to expand field education into new communities, both nationally and internationally. In addition, changes in educational policy and accreditation guidelines have the potential to revitalize the role of field education and increase research efforts devoted to this important component of professional education.

Article

Shirley Otis-Green

Health social work is a subspecialization of social work concerned with a person's adjustment to changes in one's health and the impact this has on that person's social network. Social workers in every setting must be ready to assist individuals and families adjusting to illness and coping with medical crises. This entry provides a brief overview and history of health social work and describes the settings and roles where this work is practiced. Significant challenges and opportunities in clinical care, research, education, and policy are discussed. Standards and guidelines for quality practice are then noted.

Article

South America, a land of beauty, diversity, and socioeconomic disparity, is going through a profound identity search, redefining the government's role concerning the welfare of its people, and most important, reevaluating its relationship with the Global North. Within this context, social work has a strong commitment to work with the most vulnerable sectors of the population affected by structural adjustment programs.

Article

Dick Schoech

Information technology (IT), which encompasses tools and prescribed actions, has begun to substantially impact social work, given 50 years of impressive developments. This entry looks at IT trends and their impact on society and social work. The trends covered concern rapid IT development, connectivity, globalization and outsourcing, intelligent applications and devices, centralization and distribution of power and control, and distance education. Issues and challenges for social work are also discussed.

Article

The educational imperative to study social welfare policy has remained a constant throughout the history of social work education. Although specific policies and social issues may change over time, the need to advocate for and create humane, justice-based social policy remains paramount. The study of welfare policy contributes to the effectiveness of practitioners who are knowledgeable and skilled in analysis, advocacy, and the crafting of justice-based social welfare policies. In addition to traditional policy content areas, students should develop knowledge and skills in critical thinking, understand a range of justice theories, and recognize the direct interaction between globalization and national and local policy matters.

Article

Halaevalu F. O. Vakalahi, Michael M. Sinclair, and Bradford W. Sheafor

Professions are developed and maintained through various professional organizations and associations. As social work has evolved in terms of context and content, the professional membership and professional education organizations have periodically unified, separated, and later reunified in the attempt to maintain an identity as a single profession, yet responding to the needs and interests of different practice specialties, educational levels, special interest groups within social work, and diverse cultures and communities. Further discussion of the major organizations and associations in the profession of social work recognizes the continuous important contributions of emerging groups and entities that represent the diversity that exists in the profession.