Social Work

Social workers help people from all walks of life with all kinds of problems in all kinds of settings. They use their deep understanding of human development and behavior, as well as how people interact with social, economic and cultural institutions, along with specialized skills, to help individuals, families, or communities in need. 

“Social workers help people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges: poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, physical illness, divorce, loss, unemployment, educational problems, disability, and mental illness. They help prevent crises and counsel individuals, families, and communities to cope more effectively with the stresses of everyday life.” – National Association of Social Workers

Social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States, and the demand for trained social workers increases every year. A social work degree from FHSU will prepare you for a rewarding career helping those who need it most.

Department of Social Work

Department of Social Work Faculty Listing

Courses

Introduction to the social service delivery systems in the United States, with an emphasis on the social work profession: its mission, philosophy, ethics, values, diverse fields, and ethnocultural perspectives. Observations of social service agencies and guest speakers provide a career orientation to the social work profession.

Read More

Examination of the historical evolution of social welfare and the social work profession, with focus on the social policies which comprise the foundation of the welfare state in the United States. Present patterns of social welfare services are to be examined. Emphasis is on the historical evolution of contemporary social problems. Oppression, discrimination, social justice issues and policies, and their impact on diverse populations at risk will be explored.

Read More

Critical analysis of perspectives on the person and on the physical and sociocultural environment. The focus is on the fit between person and environment, with attention to biological, psychological, and social dynamics that impair or facilitate person/environment fit. There is particular concern with the process of social and cultural stratification and oppression within society, communities, institutions, organizations, and groups, and the effects of confrontation and contact between those cultures and the dominant American culture is reviewed, with special attention to social work issues. The rural environment as a context affecting biological, psychological, and social dynamics is considered.

Read More

Examination of development in the intertwined individual and family life cycles as a transactional process involving the material interaction of environmental, bio-psycho-social, economic, and ethnocultural factors, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, and family structure. The focus is on the evolving fit between the developing individual and family and the risk and protective factors in a changing environment. Special attention is paid to how the process impacts Western Kansas populations at risk. There is particular concern with developmental settings, including family, school and work and the ways they impact and are impacted by developing individuals and families, concepts of diversity, values and ethical issues, and theoretical perspectives as they apply to social work practice area examined.

Read More

The process of knowledge production and research design. Selected aspects of the philosophy of science and the logic of inquiry are related to the basic techniques of qualitative and quantitative research.

Read More

As the first of five generalist practice courses, this foundation course provides entry-level theory, knowledge, research, values, and skills for social work practice. Self-awareness, critical thinking, problem-solving, professional relationships, and ethics are explored. This course focuses on the organizing frameworks of social work practice, including (but not limited to) systems theory, the strengths perspective, and the generalist practice model. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas urban/rural regions is emphasized. The student will complete fifty (50) hours on nonpaid service in a community agency of the student's choice, with instructor approval. The course culminates with the student application for advancement into the BSW program.

Read More

As the second generalist practice course, this course provides entry-level theory, knowledge, research, values, and skills for social work practice with individuals. This course builds upon the generalist problem-solving model, interventive methods, and planning introduced in SOCW 380. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas, urban/rural regions is emphasized.

Read More

As the third generalist practice course, this course provides entry-level knowledge, values, and skills for social work practice with group, organizational and community systems. This course builds upon the concepts/processes of problemsolving, planned change, and intervention methods from previous practice courses, with the emphasis on group, organizational and community knowledge skills, and strategies for change. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas, urban/rural regions is emphasized.

Read More

This is the second of two social welfare policy and services courses and builds upon SOCW 310. This course is designed to provide entry-level theory, knowledge, research, values, and skills for social welfare policy/practice. Emphasis is upon the processes and methods of designing, enacting, implementing, and evaluating social welfare policies/services at the local, state, and federal levels. Value and ethical considerations related to policy, evaluation frameworks, and research methodologies are presented. Various organizational and political processes used to implement/influence welfare policies/ services are reviewed.

Read More

An analysis for social workers of causes and dynamics of problems in person-environment fit and the associated difficulties in biopsychosocial functioning. Primary focus is on substance abuse. The course also introduces a wide range of psychiatric disorders. Students are asked to consider the impact of the rural, western Kansas environment on problem dynamics and service system response.

Read More

As the fourth generalist practice course, this course provides entry-level knowledge, values, and skills for social work practice with child and family systems. This course builds upon the generalist social work problem-solving model with an emphais on working with families and with child welfare systems. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas, urban/rural regions is emphasized.

Read More

As the last of the five generalist practice courses, this course provides entry-level theory, knowledge, research, values, and skills for social work practice with organizations and communities. This course builds upon the concepts/processes of problem-solving, planned change, and intervention methods from previous practice courses, with the emphasis on organizational and community knowledge skills, and strategies of change. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas, urban/rural regions is emphasized.

Read More

As the last of five practice courses, this course prepares students for the required field practicum in the semester of the social work program before the field experience. Interviewing, stress and time management, court testimony, documentation, career objectives, and practicum site selection are specific goals of this course. Students learn a theoretical context upon which to base the practicum.

Read More

A capstone seminar that accompanies the field practicum and enables social work majors to integrate theory, values, skills, ethics, and ethnocultural competence. Emphasis is on selfanalysis and evaluating one's own practice.

Read More

A field experience that provides social work majors with supervised learning experiences within selected social welfare agencies. A capstone seminar accompanies this practicum in order to enable students to integrate and apply classroom learning in a field setting. An ethnocultural practice perspective is emphasized. The field practicum prepatory course, Introduction to the Practicum, is taken the semester immediately preceding the practicum. Five hundred (500) hours of field practicum experience are required.

Read More

The subject matter for this course will vary from semester to semester. Topics will include areas of major interest and concern related to social work practice. Examples are topics such as social work and the law and co-occurring disorders.

Read More

The subject matter for this course will vary from semester to semester. Topics will include areas of major interest and concern related to social work practice. Examples are topics such as social work and the law and co-occurring disorders.

Read More

This course is designed to provide an understanding of dispute resolution and particularly the use of mediation in family conflicts. The major topics include the mediation process, developing active listening and negotiation skills, divorce and child custody issues, parent/child issues, and simulated role plays. The course will feature materials from texts, articles, handouts, films, speakers, and student participation in actual case mediations.

Read More

This course is designed to provide an understanding of dispute resolution and particularly the use of mediation in family conflicts. The major topics include the mediation process, developing active listening and negotiation skills, divorce and child custody issues, parent/child issues, and simulated role plays. The course will feature materials from texts, articles, handouts, films, speakers, and student participation in actual case mediations.

Read More

Students will learn a multicultural approach to concepts of spirituality, aging, and empowerment in American society. The course will also examine the role of social workers and gerontology professionals in relationship to the impact of chronic illness on the psychosocial, economic and spiritual contexts of aging adults in our society.

Read More

Students will learn a multicultural approach to concepts of spirituality, aging, and empowerment in American society. The course will also examine the role of social workers and gerontology professionals in relationship to the impact of chronic illness on the psychosocial, economic and spiritual contexts of aging adults in our society.

Read More

A short term, concentrated study of some topic or unit. Opportunity is given for group and individual participation to fit needs of the student.

Read More

A short term, concentrated study of some topic or unit. Opportunity is given for group and individual participation to fit needs of the student.

Read More

Reading and/or research programs to fit the individual needs of advanced undergraduates in social work. Topics are chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Read More

Reading and/or research programs to fit the individual needs of advanced undergraduates in social work. Topics are chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Read More

For social work majors with good academic standing. Provides practical experience in community organizations and social agencies. Systematic recording and reporting of the work experience and supplementary reading are required.

Read More

For social work majors with good academic standing. Provides practical experience in community organizations and social agencies. Systematic recording and reporting of the work experience and supplementary reading are required.

Read More

The purposes of this course are to help students: (1) learn the history, mission, and philosophy of the social work profession and the evolution of social welfare policy (2) develop a beginning level understanding of the development, implementation, and impact of major US social welfare policies and programs (3) research and analyze US social welfare policies and programs using a comprehensive framework with special attention to equity and justice (4) build foundation level policy-practice skills. Throughout the course students are helped to connect their classroom work and their field work with current social welfare policies and related programs. Special attention is given to policies and programs that affect social and economic security throughout the life span. The course also includes an introduction to policies and programs that are central to fields of practice in child and family welfare, aging, health, and mental health. The course focuses on state and federal level social policies in the US, but also includes opportunities for students to learn from the social policy experiences of other countries. Students develop skills in analyzing the ways in which social conditions, values, and ideologies shape the definitions of social problems, the formulation of social policies, and the implementation of policies that impact well-being.

Read More

This course is designed to help students gain and understanding of, and appreciation for, the use of research as a tool for professional evidence-based practice. Students are introduced to the concepts and skills underlying a systematic approach to social work research, including basic research terminology, the scientific method in social work, the value of research in social work, research ethics and the social work value base, problem formulation and conceptualization, measurement, research designs to evaluate programs and practice, sampling, alternative quantitative and qualitative data gathering and analytic techniques, and preparation and use of research reports. The emphasis in the course is on equipping students with the research knowledge and skills needed to engage in the evidence-based practice process at all levels of social work practice. As part of that process, students will learn how to critically appraise sources of scientific evidence and how the criteria for that appraisal will vary depending upon the purpose of the research. Fundamentals of research design, data collection, and analysis are presented. The nature of bias in research is explored. Development of skills for using and conducting research in practice settings is emphasized.

Read More

This is the first of two Human Behavior and the Social Environment courses. From a systems/ecological approach, this course will focus on a range of social systems theories, social roles, and the life cycle of general human development from conception to older adulthood. Course content will also include an overview of cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic theories as applied to professional micro social work assessment and case summary analysis. A holistic ecological framework will include an examination of factors related to socioeconomic, gender, and cultural diversity environmental contexts.

Read More

This is the second course on Human Behavior and the Social Environment continuing to study social systems theory as a foundation to generalist social work practice. This course examines the theoretical basis for understanding groups, organizations, & communities. Emphasis is placed on providing students with theoretical knowledge which can then be applied to assessing and intervening with mezzo and macro client systems. This course presents and critiques knowledge of human development in the context of families, groups, communities, organizations, and institutions, and provides foundation knowledge about the structure and function of larger systems and their impact on people.

Read More

This course provides entry level individual engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation, theory, knowledge, research, values, and skills for social work practice. Self-awareness, critical thinking, problem solving, intervention skills, goal planning, professional relationships, and ethics are explored. This course focuses on foundation aspects of social work practice including the sensitizing frameworks of systems and ecological theory, the strengths perspective, and the generalist practice framework as applied to micro systems.

Read More

This course is one of two foundation practice courses that prepare students to apply a generalist perspective to social work practice with systems of all sizes. It complements and builds on the first general practice course (micro skills) as well as other foundation courses and practicum by specifically focusing on groups, organizations and communities as targets of intervention. By working with groups, organizations and communities in culturally appropriate ways, social workers can improve the well-being of individuals and groups, positively influence the availability and effectiveness of services, and seek to achieve social and economic justice.

Read More

This course is the first of two field practicum experiences that students are required to complete during the foundation year of the MSW Program. This course provides social work majors with supervised learning experiences from a licensed social worker within approved social welfare agencies. A practice course accompanies this practicum in order to enable students to integrate and apply classroom learning in the field setting. An ethno-cultural practice perspective is emphasized. Students work closely with the Field Practicum Director to identify their preferred practice population, preferred agencies, and the geographical area where they want to complete the practicum. Students are required to begin this practicum experience the same week that other MSW courses begin in the fall semester. A minimum of 240 hours of field practicum experience are required during the fall semester.

Read More

This course is the second of two field practicum experiences that students are required to complete during the generalist year of the MSW Program. This course provides social work majors with supervised learning experiences from a licensed social worker within approved social welfare agencies. Students will be concurrently enrolled in the SOCW 835 Generalist Social Work Practice II: Mezzo/Macro Skills course in order to enable the students to integrate and apply classroom learning in the field setting. Students are expected to use this course to build from the first field practicum course. An ethnocultural practice perspective is emphasized. Students work closely with the Field Practicum Director to identify their preferred practice population, preferred agencies, and the geographical area where they want to complete the practicum. Students are required to begin this practicum experience the same week that other MSW courses begin in the spring semester. A minimum of 240 hours of field practicum experience are required during the spring semester. Once students complete this course and hours, they will have accumulated a minimum of 480 practicum hours to satisfy the practicum requirements to move on to the advanced year of the MSW program.

Read More

The course will present an integrative biopsychosocial model for the understanding of mental and behavioral disorders. This course provides students with a fuller understanding of the process of diagnosing mental disorders utilizing the latest framework as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fifth edition, 2013 (DSM-5). The focus will be on major affective, cognitive, anxiety, and other disorders that graduates are likely to encounter in social work practice.  In addition to assessment and diagnosis of mental and behavioral disorders, this course will identify and describe a risk and resilience biopsychosocial framework, and evidence-based treatment interventions for persons who meet the diagnostic criteria for a disorder.  Evidence based treatment and intervention strategies covered will include pharmacological treatment, stages of change, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma-based treatments, strengths-based person-centered approaches, along with assessment and intervention strategies using an integrated care model.

Read More

The course will present an integrative biopsychosocial model for the understanding of mental health disorders including personality disorders, trauma, eating disorders, somatic disorders, and a special focus on addictions. Course content includes an overview of the history of substance abuse, a review of models of addiction, a multidimensional model of the addiction process, the physiological effects of commonly abused substances, assessment and diagnosis of substance abuse disorders, and specific, evidence-based treatment and interventions for adolescent and adult clients. The course will provide comprehensive learning about the behavioral health model, dual-diagnosis and differential diagnosis. Evidence based treatment and intervention strategies covered will include stages of change, harm reduction, screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT), motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, strengths-based person-centered approaches, along with assessment and intervention strategies using an integrated care model.

Read More

The use of one’s self is the foundational platform on which all other tools used in the therapeutic relationship depend. As such, it is essential that clinical social workers engage in personal development in preparation for and in conjunction with development as a professional.  Self-awareness, self-understanding and a commitment to self-improvement are an essential part of the development of a clinical social worker. This course is designed to assist students in understanding the theory of one’s individual self, identify areas for self-development, converge this development within a professional social work context, and develop strategies for personal and professional development across one’s career.

Read More

Effective administrative social work practice demands knowledge, skills, and abilities in the areas of personnel management, team building, and workplace diversity. Social work agencies and programs must be administered by people with human resource expertise in order to meet the needs of clients and communities, and to build upon strengths and enhance well-being of individuals, families, households, and communities. Additionally, it is critical that the managers of social programs not only be grounded in the ethics, values and knowledge of social work, but have specific skills needed to operate culturally appropriate programs. Through this course students will learn to: (1) supervise and manage social workers and other human service staff members (2) build teams and organizational cultures that maximize staff morale and job satisfaction and (3) create and maintain workplaces that reflect, contribute to, and celebrate diversity in the larger community. The class also includes a historical orientation to and a comparison of various theoretical perspectives on personnel management and related administrative work in human service agencies.

Read More

Social work and healthcare are inextricably linked with quality of life and well-being. Methods of clinical social work practice in health care are studied within the framework of the bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective. Assessments and interventions include understanding of medical concerns, physical function, medical treatment, and the socio-cultural meanings ascribed to illness. The course will discuss issues related to coping with illness, self-concept, identity formation, and the impact of illness on individual well-being and family relationships. The impact of illness on psychosocial functioning over the life cycle with special attention directed to the beliefs and practices of diverse cultures, races, and spiritual orientations will be addressed.

Read More

Clinical social work practice is influenced by legal systems to such a degree, it is difficult to conceptualize a competent practitioner without a basic understanding of forensic social work practice. The actions of social workers and their clients are powerfully, implicitly, and explicitly shaped through legal mandates and regulations at multiple levels of governance. This course will provide a foundation for the essential areas of interaction between social work practice and the law, with an emphasis on how these impact the roles and functions of the clinical practitioner.  The course also equips the practitioner with a crucial underpinning of the forensic knowledge and skills necessary to provide clinical social work services to clients in legal settings, such as mediation, forensic interviewing, and testimony as an expert witness.

Read More

Students learn selected theoretical orientations and therapeutic interventions designed to promote goal attainment and the well-being of individuals. Students recognize that effective and efficient clinical social work practice is guided and informed by a theoretical foundation as well as policies and demands of agency function and funding sources. Students are expected to display autonomous ethical practice, to utilize critical thinking and reflection as they expand awareness of conscious use of self in the social work clinical helping partnership. Students will demonstrate theoretical knowledge and psychotherapeutic skills through coursework, clinical intensive meetings, and practicum. This course has been designed to synchronize with SOCW 890 Advanced  Clinical SW Field Practicum I and topics and assignments from this course have been integrated into the practicum.

Read More

Students learn selected theoretical orientations and therapeutic interventions designed to promote goal attainment and the well-being of groups and families. Students recognize that effective and efficient clinical social work practice is guided and informed by a theoretical foundation as well as policies and demands of agency function and funding sources. Students are expected to display autonomous ethical practice, to utilize critical thinking and reflection as they expand awareness of conscious use of self in the social work clinical helping partnership. Students will demonstrate theoretical knowledge and psychotherapeutic skills through coursework, clinical intensive meetings, and practicum. This course has been designed to synchronize with SOCW 895 Advanced Clinical SW Field Practicum II and topics and assignments from this course have been integrated into the practicum.

Read More

This course is the first of two field practicum experiences that students are required to complete during the advanced year for the MSW Program. This course provides social work majors with supervised clinical learning experiences from a licensed social worker within approved social welfare agencies. SOCW 880 Advanced Practice with Individuals accompanies this practicum course in order to enable students to integrate and apply classroom learning in the field setting. An ethnocultural practice perspective is emphasized. Students work closely with the Field Practicum Director to identify their preferred practice population, preferred agencies, and the geographical area where they want to complete the practicum.  Student are required to begin this practicum experience the same week that courses begin in the fall semester. A minimum of 360 hours of field practicum experience are required.  Students will be in rotations in a variety of social service agency setting for the first six weeks of the semester. This will provide students with observation opportunities with a more diverse client population in diverse agency settings. The rotations will allow students to understand services from a more systemic perspective. Once students complete the rotations, they will begin in their full-time practicum (minimum of 24 hours / week) in an agency placement predetermined at the beginning of the practicum course. Students are required to complete a minimum of 360 hours of field practicum experience during this semester.

Read More

This course is the second of two field practicum experiences that students are required to complete during the advanced year for the MSW Program. This course provides social work majors with supervised clinical learning experiences from a licensed social worker within approved social welfare agencies. SOCW 885 Advanced Practice with Groups and Families accompanies this practicum course in order to enable students to integrate and apply classroom learning in the field setting. An ethnocultural practice perspective is emphasized. Students work closely with the Field Practicum Director to identify their preferred practice population, preferred agencies, and the geographical area where they want to complete the practicum. Students are required to begin this practicum experience the same week that courses begin in the fall semester. Students are required to complete a minimum of 360 hours of field practicum experience during this semester. Once students complete this course and hours, they will have accumulated a minimum of 720 practicum hours to satisfy the practicum requirements to move on to the advanced year of the MSW program.

Read More

Last updated: 06/22/2020