Standard 20

Direct Learning Support Services

Candidates demonstrate the ability to perform culturally competent, biopsychosocial assessments of pupils, their families, and their social and school environments. Candidates demonstrate the ability to deliver a continuum of prevention and intervention opportunities, services, and supports to maximize positive academic, social, and emotional outcomes to pupils, their families, and to enhance the school community for all its members. Candidates understand and use the basic methods of social work intervention, which may include counseling, crisis intervention, casework, group work, community organizing, consultation, case management, family therapy, and effective educational strategies.

Introduction

Candidates for the PPS credential in school social work are required to demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to perform culturally competent, bio psychosocial assessments of pupils, their families and their social and school environments. There are four major content areas that provide candidates with this baseline of knowledge and skills: developmental theory; systems theory; impact of psychosocial stressors; and, application of knowledge to practice. Candidates are also required to demonstrate the knowledge and skills of appropriate methods of social work intervention with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities to address problems of pupils in the school setting. The advanced multi systems practice concentration of the MSW program provides both the knowledge and practice instruction necessary for credential candidates to provide effective direct learning support services.

Matrix 20-1 illustrates the specific content and MSW courses which provide it.

Perform culturally competent, bio psycho social assessments

Effective social work intervention is predicated on the ability to conduct accurate bio psychosocial assessments from which relevant service delivery plans can be made. To this end, PPS credential candidates are provided with the foundation and advanced practice knowledge and skills for effective assessment: developmental theory; systems theory; impact of psychosocial stressors; and, application of knowledge to practice.

Developmental Theory

PPS credential candidates learn about the developmental life cycle in Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Multi Systems Approach (S Wrk 212).    This theoretical content is covered beginning in Week6.

Course content on stage models of development includes the theories of Freud, Erikson, Piaget, and Kohlberg. It also provides detailed examination of the appropriate developmental tasks of infants, toddlers, early school age, middle school age, early adolescence and late adolescence. There is also exploration of abnormal development as well as the variations in development that occur as a result of culture, class, ethnicity and disability. S Wrk 213, Cultural Diversity and Oppression, provides additional foundation knowledge of the impact of cultural factors on human behavior and development at all systems levels. This knowledge base provides the foundation for appropriate bio psychosocial assessment of pupils.

S Wrk 212 also addresses the developmental life cycle of the family. The reciprocal transformations ofindividuals and the family through the life course are addressed. This foundation is further developed in S Wrk 227, Seminar in Advanced Social Work Practice with Couples and Families. There is close examination of intervening variables such as poverty, language, school-age parenting, single parent families, child abuse, domestic violence, discrimination and oppression. For example, see course content beginning with The Family as a Focus of Intervention.

Candidates are provided with the knowledge and skill to consider complex family characteristics such as family roles, parenting styles, and cultural context in their bio psychosocial assessment. Strategies for intergenerational and interfamilial assessment, including the completion of genograms, are taught in this seminar.

Systems Theory

Systems theory as a framework for social work practice is infused throughout the MSW curriculum. Foundation content in systems theory is explicitly and extensively covered in the foundation Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Multi Systems Approach (S Wrk 212). In S Wrk 212, the use of a social systems model is presented as a major conceptual umbrella to identify the transactional components of the person’s bio-psycho-social context. By employing a social systems framework and its complementary ecological perspective, the intention is to identify the context of and relationship between biological, psychological, social, cultural, spiritual, and environmental systems as they affect and are affected by human behavior. As an example, systems theory is the focus for one option in Paper I:Working with Individuals.   S Wrk 212 also explores the application of systems theory beyond the individual and family on small groups, organizations and communities. This content provides candidates with understanding of the influence of larger system contexts on pupil behavior, including the classroom, school, neighborhood and community.

The application of this foundation content to practice begins in the second year. S Wrk 224, Seminar in Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals, provides specific content to facilitate the ability to apply knowledge of individual dynamics as well as impinging environmental and social influences in the formulation of a multi dimensional assessment. The School Social Work courses, S Wrk 274 and S Wrk 275, add to this knowledge base more specific content on the public school system and its influence on learning. This framework for practice is introduced in S Wrk 274 under The School as an Educational,Political & Social System. Knowledge and skills are presented through an ecological framework for practice, which necessitates consideration of the interaction of involved social systems: pupil; family; school; and, community. A tool for multi dimensional assessment and development of a family service plan is provided to PPS candidates for use in the field practicum. It is also utilized to complete an Attendance Assessment for S Wrk 274. The macro practice classes (S Wrk 246 and SWrk 247) provide knowledge of assessment at the organizational and community level.

Impact of Psychosocial Stressors

Understanding of the wide variety of bio psychosocial factors which influence human behavior over the life cycle and in various systems is facilitated in the foundation human behavior in the social environment classes (S Wrk 212 and S Wrk 213). Specific examination of these factors as part of assessment is carried out in the foundation practice courses, S Wrk 220 and S Wrk 221 as well as in S Wrk 224, Seminar in Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals.   For example, see course content from S Wrk 220 on Multi-systems, Generalist Assessment.

Students learn the concept of multi dimensional assessment and therefore consider micro issues such as separation and loss as well as macro issues such as discrimination and oppression. Specific information about public schools and the impact of life-changing events and conditions on learning as well as on the larger educational system is covered in the School Social Work courses, S Wrk 274 and S Wrk 275. Candidates are taught to view presenting problems such as poor attendance as symptoms of underlying, unresolved issues/stressors such as separation and loss or undiagnosed learning disabilities.

Ability to deliver a continuum of prevention and intervention services

The concurrent model of field and classroom learning allows students to put theory into practice. In the second year practicum (S Wrk 282/283), PPS credential candidates are placed in school settings. Learning experiences are guided by the course learning agreement which prescribes minimum practice assignments for each semester of the advanced year of internship. Students are required to demonstrate skill in conducting bio psychosocial assessments of pupils as the basis for developing an intervention plan. In keeping with the ecological model, this assessment and action plan extends beyond the individual pupil to include the family, the classroom, school personnel, and the general community. The PPS Learning Agreement Addendum further specifies learning assignments that will be completed to demonstrate specific PPS Competenciesof the PPS program. These assignments include a range of prevention and intervention services to support pupil success. PPS competency 7 requires candidates to demonstrate skill in implementing effective prevention and intervention strategies, developing programs, and utilizing community resources. Sample field experiences to meet this competency area include participation in planning prevention activities for Red Ribbon week, providing crisis intervention, and providing referrals to community resources as needed. PPS candidate performance in Field Instructed Practice (S Wrk 282/283) is evaluated at the end of each semester. Skill in conducting multi dimensional assessments, developing appropriate service plans, and providing a range of prevention and intervention services which involve all relevant constituencies is evaluated.

Understand and use basic methods of social work intervention

The knowledge and skills for effective, culturally competent bio psychosocial assessments provides the context for appropriate social work service planning and delivery. The foundation knowledge base for social work intervention with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities is presented in the practice and human behavior in the social environment sequences. Specifically, HBSE: A Multi systems Approach (S Wrk 212) facilitates students’ understanding of both individual and family development over the life cycle from a systems perspective. The diversity of family structures and functions and their influence on individual and family development are examined. Students are also provided with a theoretical and conceptual understanding of human behavior in small groups, organizations and communities. For example, see the assignment for S Wrk 212, Paper III: Working with Organizations and/or Communities.

The Foundations for Social Work Practice I and II classes, (S Wrk 220 and S Wrk 221), present a framework for problem solving interventions that can be used at any systems level. For example, see the course material from S Wrk 220 on Developing a Multi-systems Generalist Intervention Plan. Knowledge and skills for the development of an effective professional relationship, including communication, interviewing, and problem analysis, are provided. Strategies for practice from an empowerment perspective are presented as a means to actively involve pupils, family, and school personnel in the problem solving process.

Specific content on the structure of the public schools is provided in S Wrk 274, Advanced Social Work Practiced in Schools I. This content includes information on school climate, the social and political organization of schools, traditional roles of school personnel, and formal and informal decision-making processes. PPS candidates complete a written assignment for this course, the School Practice Paper,which demonstrates understanding and application of the school social work role within the structure of the school.

Foundation content on intervention with various systems is expanded and strengthened in the advanced multi systems social work practice concentration which consists of the following classes: Seminar in Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals (S Wrk 224); Seminar in Advanced Social Work Practice with Groups (S Wrk 225); Seminar in Social Work Practice with Couples and Families (S Wrk 227); Seminar in Social Work Practice with Formal Organizations (S Wrk 246); Seminar in Social Work Practice with Communities (S Wrk 247); and, Advanced Social Work Practice in Schools I and II (S Wrk 274 and S Wrk 275).

In S Wrk 224, students learn specific knowledge and techniques for working with individuals including interviewing, assessment, planning, intervention and termination. For example, see week 2 in the course calendar on Defining Assessment and Diagnosis.

In S Wrk 227, instruction in couple and family centered social work practice occurs. Examination of family structure, including dynamics, roles, traditions, communication patterns and resources occurs in order to establish a sound knowledge base for family intervention. Major problems/characteristics of selected family systems (i.e. poverty, abuse, cultural considerations) are discussed and their significance for intervention is examined. Specific knowledge and techniques for working collaboratively with parents and families around educational issues to facilitate their understanding and involvement is presented in the School Social Work courses (S Wrk 274 and S Wrk 275).

In S Wrk 246, students gain specific knowledge and skill for understanding and intervening with formal organizations such as the public schools. In S Wrk 247, students develop a comprehensive knowledge base about contemporary methods and strategies of community analysis, intervention and social change practice. The influence of key aspects of the community such as neighborhoods, sources of conflict and support, resources and community leaders are all addressed in order to provide a foundation for effective community practice. As an example, see Techniques for Culturally Competent Practice and Empowerment.

In S Wrk 225, students gain knowledge and understanding of group theory as it applies to clinical, treatment groups and more broadly to task, self-help, and social control groups. Core components of the group process such as group structure, dynamics, membership, roles, norms and leadership are addressed.

This advanced multi-systems concentration provides an excellent fit with the practice demands of school social work. PPS candidates acquire the knowledge and skills for effective, culturally competent direct practice, including bio psychosocial assessment, service planning, implementation and evaluation. The broad range of roles and practice methods utilized necessitate understanding the principles of effective case management. These principles are presented in the foundation and advanced practice classes and applied during the concurrent field practicum in the schools.

The application of social work practice knowledge and skills in the school setting occurs in the second year practicum, S Wrk 282/283. This class, taken concurrently with the School Social Work courses, allows PPS credential candidates to develop competency in utilizing the MSW foundation and advanced practice curriculum along with the more specialized content for practice in the schools. Students are required to work with a diversity of clients and client problems in a multi systems fashion in order to demonstrate a minimum level of competency in social work interventions in a school setting.

Specifically, PPS candidates are required to complete minimum practice assignments using all of the basic methods of social work intervention as outlined in the learning agreements (i.e. Social Work 282 )and the PPS Learning Agreement Addendum.

They are also required to work with a minimum of ten students ethnically different from themselves for a minimum of one hundred hours to insure breadth of experience with intervention in addressing cultural diversity. Candidate performance in the provision of intervention at all systems levels includes conducting culturally competent bio psychosocial assessments, developing appropriate service plans, providing multi systems social work intervention, and evaluating the effectiveness of intervention which includes appropriate follow-up procedures. Candidates are supervised by an experienced MSW/PPS school social worker in the provision of all services.

This supervision provides the direction and support necessary to learn the complex case management practice inherent to school social work. Candidate performance in all required areas is formally evaluated at the end of each semester of field practicum. Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory performance in 80 percent of the required areas in order to receive credit for the practicum.

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION
PPS CREDENTIAL PROGRAM

MATRIX 20-1

STANDARD #20

 

Policy

HBSE

Practice

Field

Research

School Social Work

CWA

Direct Learning Support Services

200, 203

212, 213

220, 221 224, 225 227, 246 247

280/ 281 282/283

260, 261 292 298/299

274275

274 275

Factors to consider:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perform culturally competent biopsychosocial assessments

 

212,213

220, 221 224, 225 227, 246 247

280/ 281 282/283

 

274 275

 

Ability to deliver a continuum of prevention and intervention services

 

 

 

280/ 281 282/283

 

 

 

Understand and use basic methods of social work intervention

 

212

220, 221 224, 225 227, 246 247

282/283

 

274 275

 

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