Major in Social Work
Social Work Program Mission Statement
At its core, the purpose of the social work program is to prepare competent social work professionals who are motivated to gracefully serve others as an expression of their faith. In the context of the intersection of the goals of the University and those of professional social work practice, this mission is further articulated:
The mission of the baccalaureate social work program is to develop competent professionals who are committed to serving others through acquisition and integration of the essential knowledge, skills, and values that form the foundation of generalist practice in the social work profession; who are motivated to promote social justice; and who understand that a Wesleyan perspective, a desire for continuous personal development, and respectful engagement in the community that empowers others are integral components of the means for relating to God through service.
Core Goals of the Program
The goals of the PLNU social work program flow from the mission. The objectives ensure that program graduates have gained the solid foundation necessary for competent professional practice with diverse populations by teaching knowledge, shaping practice, and sending professionals into the Community. Program objectives conform to the Education Standards of the Council on Social Work Education.
A. To prepare students for beginning generalist professional practice by providing the basic knowledge, skills, and values and ethics that form a professional foundation for competent practice with diverse populations and systems of any size.
B. To prepare students who are committed to service in the community in a manner that includes an understanding of the intersection of Christian / Wesleyan perspectives and social work practice.
C. To develop entry-level practitioners who are motivated to promote social and economic justice; and who employ theory and cultural sensitivity to empower diverse populations and to understand the transactions between social and cultural environments.
D. To foster student involvement in continuing professional development and preparation for successful advancement to graduate education in social work.
To accomplish the identified program goals, upon completion of the PLNU social work program, a student must be able to achieve objectives clustered in three areas:
1) knowledge that integrates a liberal arts education with the professional foundation;
2) professional practice that is guided by values and ethics and inspired by faith; and
3) development of professional identity and capacity. Program objectives within these three areas include the production of students who:
Part I: Knowledge - Integrating Liberal Arts and the Professional Foundation
1. Apply critical thinking skills within the context of social work practice.
2. Apply the knowledge and skills of generalist social work practice with systems of any size (individuals, families, groups, organizations, networks, communities).
3. Understand and interpret the history of the social work profession and its contemporary structures and issues.
4. Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and apply strategies of advocacy and social change that promote economic and social justice.
5. Understand theoretical frameworks supported by empirical evidence in understanding individual development and behavior across the life span and interactions among individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Part II: Practice Framed by Professional Values, Ethics, and Faith
6. Understand the core values and ethics of the social work profession and practice accordingly
7. Empower others through culturally-sensitive engagement with others that practices without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to clients’ age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.
8. Use communication skills differentially across client populations, networks, and communities.
9. Understand the intersection of Christian and professional social work values and articulates how a Wesleyan perspective complements social work practice.
Part III: Professional Identity and Capacity for Further Education
10. Function within the context of agency and community service delivery systems and seek necessary change.
11. Use supervision and consultation appropriate to social work practice.
12. Demonstrate personal responsibility for his/her own learning and professional development and evaluate his/her own practice and promotes continuous self improvement.
13. Demonstrate sufficient personal awareness to promote a professional use of self.
14. Possess basic knowledge and skills required for acceptance for graduate study in Social Work.
15. Analyze, formulate, and influence social policies.16. Evaluate research studies, apply research findings to practice, and evaluate their own practice intervention.