The Integrated Social Work Practice I and II and Field Instruction I and II courses are taught concurrently by the Practice Instructor and the Faculty Advisor(s).
Students remain with the same Practice Instructor and Faculty Advisor for both semesters in the Foundation year.
It is premised on the idea that there are three distinct and equally essential components to developing cultural consciousness: awareness of self, of the client, and of systems of oppression and privilege that contribute to our own self-concept as well as our perceptions of others.
To address the first component, the course challenges students to engage in a deep exploration of their own cultural identities, values, and biases in a number of areas: childhood and family, race, social class, gender and sexual identity, as well as other cultures.
In order to carry out this central function, social workers must be able to assess the systemic roots of inequality that promote social and economic injustice and understand the implications of institutionalized discrimination and oppression for individuals, families and communities.
Social workers practicing in complex urban environments of today must be knowledgeable about ways in which globalization broadens the frame for viewing issues of social justice to a concern for oppressed populations worldwide.
Integrated Practice/Field II also builds on the values, knowledge and skills and behaviors introduced in Integrated Social Work Practice I & Field Instruction I and helps students to better understand short-term, crisis and extended interventions models; self-evaluation and evaluation of practice approaches and models; agency and community practice; advanced practice skills with individuals and families, and the process of termination.
The Integrated Practice/Field courses (Practice/Field Instruction I and II) during the Foundation year help students to understand, learn and behave appropriately in their professional social work roles; to engage with and comprehensively assess their clients in the field placement (including individuals, families, groups and communities) within the contexts of their social environments, agency functioning, and social programs and policies; and to promote, restore and enhance clients' social functioning and as such become agent of change.
A core concept of this class is that in order to minimize bias and maximize the capacity for empathy in the treatment of all clients, it is imperative that the practitioner engage in ongoing self-exploration.
Throughout the course, students will be asked to broaden and deepen their knowledge about and awareness of cultures and identities outside their own.