Standard 10

Consultation

The program provides candidates with opportunities and experiences to demonstrate knowledge and application of theories, models, and processes of consultation.   The program provides candidates with opportunities and experiences to display the ability to use communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills in consultation with teachers, administrators, other school personnel, family members, community groups, and agencies.   Candidates demonstrate skills in using a decision-making process when consulting and collaborating with others to (a) identify problem areas, (b) collect and analyze information to understand problems, (c) make decisions about service delivery, and (d) evaluate the implementation and outcome of the service delivery plan.

Introduction

Candidates demonstrate knowledge of theories, models and processes of consultation with teachers, administrators and other school personnel, family members, community groups, agencies, and pupils as deemed appropriate. Demonstration that each content area has been satisfactorily learned and applied is evidenced by a passing grade in the relevant courses, an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and a grade of “Credit” for the field practicum. The courses that address each of the specific content areas are listed and discussed below.

Knowledge and application of theories, models and processes of individual and organizational consultation

The foundation human behavior course, S Wrk 212, introduces candidates to theories and models of consultation at small and large system levels.   For example, see course content on OrganizationalTheories/Models.

The foundation practice courses, S Wrk 220 and S Wrk 221, provide practice content and experiential exercises to apply these models to practice. The foundation field practicum, S Wrk 280/281 also provides students with supervised experience in consultation in a variety of human service settings. During the advanced year of the program, students gain more in-depth knowledge of consultation. In the Seminar in Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals (S Wrk 224), students learn to identify how agency policies and procedures impact practice. In the Seminar in Social Work Practice with Formal Organizations (S Wrk 246), students develop familiarity with the concept of participatory leadership and decision making, and become committed to a style and structure of administrative practice which includes all levels of agency personnel in appropriate phases of policy and program development. For example, see course content on Administrative Leadership. Through the Advanced Field Instructed Practice (S Wrk 282/283), students learn to promote the development of practice skills with organizations, administration, and related social systems in order to provide appropriate strategies for multi system intervention and problem solving. This macro level of practice includes the provision of individual and team consultation. PPS candidates are required to gain experience in consultation with school personnel and parents as part of the PPS internship experience.

During study in S Wrk 274 and S Wrk 275, Advanced Social Work Practice in Schools I and II, the student gains knowledge of methods of initiating, developing and terminating individual and team consultative relationships with and between teachers, other staff and parents. For example, see course content from week 7 on Consultation with School Personnel. The students also learn skills in securing the participation of parents as partners in education and facilitating the resolution of differences between the school, family, and the community with respect to the school’s programs

Use communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills in consultation

In S Wrk 212, Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Multi Systems Approach, students gain foundation knowledge to support effective practice skills in consultation. Specifically, they identify the features of the small group to understand group dynamics and various theoretical approaches to the analysis of human behavior in the small group. In Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Cultural Diversity and Oppression (S Wrk 213) students learn to understand the concepts of culture, ethnicity, race, language and gender from a variety of theoretical perspectives, including knowledge of barriers and inhibitors to the development of effective interrelationships among teachers, staff, families and others. This theoretical foundation informs the appropriate use of communication and problem-solving skills. Students first apply this knowledge to practice in the foundation practice courses, S Wrk 220 and S Wrk 221 (see class exercise in Skill practice) and in the foundation field practicum, S Wrk 280/281.

In the second year of the program, practice skills are further developed. In Social Work Practice with Formal Organizations (S Wrk 246), students apply knowledge of social work administration to varied roles in the context of conflict manager. For example, see course content on Staff Motivation and Team-Building. In Social Work Practice with Communities (S Wrk 247) students develop an understanding of competing theories of justice, power and conflict, particularly in reference to multiple forms of power disparities which can be utilized to promote effective relationships. In Advanced Field Instructed Practice (S Wrk 282/283), students learn to participate appropriately in interdisciplinary collaboration to further client goals and objectives. Students also learn to communicate knowledge of clients, problems and interventions as part of the problem-solving process. During study in S Wrk 274 and S Wrk 275, School Social Work/CWA, students develop knowledge and skills for intervention to facilitate individual growth and development and to make the environment more responsive to the pupil’s needs. Specific knowledge and practice skills are taught regarding the school social worker in a host setting, including effective use of communication and problem-solving skills in consultation and collaboration.

Candidates demonstrate skills in using a decision-making process when consulting and collaborating with others

The foundation practice courses, S Wrk 220 and S Wrk 221, introduce students to the generalist problem solving model. Students develop a core skill set to deliver cross-culturally competent and empowerment- based social work practice within a problem- solving framework across system levels to: discern and define problems or needs; conduct assessments; collect information and data; plan and contract for intervention; select and implement intervention; monitor impact of intervention; evaluate practice; plan for and terminate intervention; and, address ethical and legal issues arising in practice. For example, see S Wrk 220 course content on The Generalist Problem-Solving Model.

This decision-making process is applied in practice during the first year field practicum, S Wrk 280/281 and includes both consultation and collaboration.

During the second year of the program, students complete the advanced practice concentration.   S Wrk 246, Social Work Practice with Formal Organizations, provides an understanding of the philosophy, mission and purpose of social agency settings, including schools. S Wrk 274 provides more specific content on schools as a context for social work practice. For example, see week 3 on The School as anEducational, Political & Social System. Candidates develop understanding of critical factors such as teaching and learning styles, school climate and classroom management and their influence on pupil learning. This understanding provides the basis for effective consultation.

In S Wrk 274, Advanced Social Work Practice in Schools I, all PPS candidates complete assigned readings on effective consultation with school staff. They also participate in a small group exercise using vignettes of typical consultation issues such as teacher-pupil conflict, difficulty learning and discipline issues. Candidates role-play the consultation and apply decision-making processes. The entire class participates in discussion of appropriate decision-making processes and effective consultation approaches. The field practicum in the schools, S Wrk 282/283, provides candidates with the opportunity to further apply their knowledge of consultation to practice. All candidates participate in a range of consultation assignments under the supervision of the MSW/PPS field instructor. See the PPS learning agreement addendum for assignments in collaborative and team building skills, and consultation skills.Typical assignments include regular consultation with teachers on issues of classroom management, learning and achievement, consultation with administrators about school discipline, attendance and teacher-pupil relationships, consultation with multidisciplinary staff regarding test results, learning difficulties and attendance.

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