PRACTICE WITH ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMUNITIES
PRACTICE WITH ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMUNITIES
This practice course examines how organizations and communities serve as a lens for understanding oppression, unequal access to resources, and economic and social justice. This class focuses on how systemic oppression and social justice emerge in agency, organizational and community settings. The course facilitates the development of practice skills that further social justice.
Place of Course in the Curriculum
This course and Generalist Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families and Groups I and II comprise the three generalist social work practice courses. Students must be matriculated and in field placement (or in a field practicum lab option) before they enroll in the course.
This course begins with an analysis of the larger structural context of social work practice situated primarily within the United States. With a focus on facilitating service delivery at the agency, organizational and community levels, this course considers the roles that professional values and ethics, oppression and social justice play in the development and integration of practice skills. This course focuses on assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation within organizations and communities with specific focus on how oppression and social justice emerge within these venues.
Upon completion of this course students will be expected to:
1. Understand the application of professional values and ethics in practice, demonstrating a beginning awareness of historical and contemporary professional developments.
2. With particular attention to agency, organizational and community settings, identify how oppression has been institutionalized in the United States and serves as a barrier to equitable access to opportunities, power & authority, economic resources, and social justice
3. Demonstrate, through classroom discussion and assignments, sensitivity and awareness regarding oppression and privilege, including an appreciation of the influence of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, class, and gender in their own lives.
4. Develop a beginning level understanding of service delivery systems and their effects on diverse populations and how they relate to the dynamics of help seeking and client entry experiences at the organizational level.
5. Complete assignments that demonstrate a beginning level understanding of how to conduct organizational and agency assessment and how to plan and implement interventions in the agency environment.
6. Develop an understanding of how to assess communities as dynamic systems and how to develop appropriate plan(s) for empowerment-based intervention(s).
7. Develop capacity to design appropriate evaluation strategies for organizational and community interventions.
8. Develop beginning level ability to assess needs as well as to plan, implement and evaluate interventions with work groups, demonstrating an understanding of task group purposes and processes.
Netting, F.E., Kettner, P. M. & McMurtry, S. L. (2008). Social work macro practice. White Plains, NY: Longman Publishing Group.
Adams, M., Bell, L.A. and Griffith, P. (Eds.). (2000). Readings for Diversity and Social Justice: An Anthology on Racism, Sexism, Anti-Semitism, Heterosexism, Classism, and Ableism. New York: Routledge. One Daily Newspaper Articles placed on e-reserve required for the Class as indicated
To complete this course successfully, students are expected to participate, relevant to the topic, in 15 class sessions of one hour and fifty minutes each and 10 hours of guided instructional time. In addition, students are expected to complete all required readings and written assignments for this course. To enhance the integration between theory and practice 4 hours of the guided instructional time is related to this class specifically and is fulfilled by the Social Justice-Organizational Assessment and the Social Justice Media Assignment.
Students are expected to attend class, on time, and fully prepared for discussion. Lateness or absenteeism is not acceptable. If an emergency occurs that precludes attendance or punctuality the student is responsible for letting the instructor know prior to the class. Email address and phone numbers are at the top of this page. Assignments must be handed in on their due date. Any late assignment is automatically downgraded one full grade for every week, or part thereof, that it is late.
All paper submissions are printed, 1" margin around, double spaced, 12 pt font, paginated, with references in APA style.
Regularly scheduled class will consist of lecture, discussion and student presentations. Students are expected to come to class having completed all readings and assignments for that week.
Guided Instructional Assignments(Both are required.)
Social Justice-Organizational Assessment:
Identify an agency, not your placement, in which you have an interest. Gather that agency's materials to include Mission Statement, Annual Report, information available on their website, and any programmatic brochures or flyers available. Interview, or attempt to interview, someone at the agency about the mission and purpose. Visit the agency and make sure that you spend at least 30 minutes in their waiting area.
To recognize the intention of an agency with regard to social justice and to begin an evaluation of their actual implementation of it.
Two-page paper presenting agency mission and goals, stated adherence to social justice principles, identification of elements of oppression, relation to class and reading material, and the NASW Code of Ethics. (No references necessary)
Social Justice Media Assignment:
View and analyze the movie Crash, Philadelphia, Paperclips, American History X, or a made for TV movie or 4 episodes of a TV sitcom approved by the instructor.
To recognize how others may present issues of social justice and oppression and critique its presentation to the public
Two page reflection paper. (No references necessary)
Self-Assessment Paper: (2 to 3 pages)
Describe a situation in your life where you needed help and went to an agency, hospital or other organization. What was it like to be in need? How were you treated? Did you feel like you got help? (Make reference to the material in Adams, M., Bell, L.A. and Griffith, P. (Eds.). (2000). Readings for Diversity and Social Justice: An Anthology on Racism, Sexism, Anti-Semitism, Heterosexism, Classism, and Ableism.)
Oppression and Privilege in Our Lives: (3 to 4 pages)
Describe in detail a situation where you observed an act of oppression in your personal or professional life. What happened? To whom? Who else was involved? Why do you identify it as oppression? Then, describe a situation where you observed yourself or someone else benefitting from a privilege, where because of some personal attribute, you or they received a benefit where another might not. What happened? Why do you identify it as privilege? (Make reference to the material in Adams, M., Bell, L.A. and Griffith, P. (Eds.). (2000). Readings for Diversity and Social Justice: An Anthology on Racism, Sexism, Anti-Semitism, Heterosexism, Classism, and Ableism. 4 additional references required)
Organizational Assessment: (3 to 5 pages)
You have already completed the Social Justice-Organizational Assessment. Now look at your own agency. Gather the same materials: Mission Statement, Annual Report, information available on the webpage, and any programmatic brochures or flyers available. Analyze their intention to implement social justice. How does the NASW Code of Ethics apply? Identify at least one area where the site could improve their implementation of social justice. Design a social work intervention to help rectify. Define how you would evaluate your effort. (4 references required)
Community Practice: (5 to 8 pages + a map)
Look at your community, it can be where you live, are placed or work. Pick a starting point. Map out 3 blocks in each direction. If you were a client in this "neighborhood" could you get your needs met? What services are there? Would you have access to them? What impediments are there to services and for whom are they impediments? What services changes would you make in this "neighborhood", why, and how would you measure their success? (4 references required)
Grading and Assignment Schedule
Class Attendance, preparedness and participation: September 3 - December 17 20%
Self Assessment: September 17th 10%
Oppression and Privilege in Our Lives: October 8th 10%
Social Justice-Organizational Assessment: October 29th 10%
Organizational Assessment: November 12th 10%
Community Practice: December 3rd 15%
Social Justice Media Assignment by December 10th: 10%
Student Presentations: last 3 classes 15%
September 3: Introduction to Social Justice: Practice with Organizations and Communities
Introductions, Class Overview, Beginning Discussion of Social Justice.
Finn, J.L. & Jacobsen, M. (2003). Just practice: Steps towards a new social work paradigm. Journal of Social Work Education. 39(1), 57-58.
Netting, et. al. Social work macro practice. Chapter 2. (The historical roots of macro practice), pp. 36-68.
Parker, L. (2003) A social justice model for clinical social work practice. Affilia. 18(3), 272+ Reisch, M. (2002). Defining social justice in a socially unjust world. Families in Society.
September 10: Social Justice as Reflected in Professional Values and Principles of Practice
Professional values and their implications for practice. Agency policies and mission statements as expressions of values and as a platform for services.
Bisman, C. (2004). Social work values: The moral core of the profession. British Journal of Social Work, 34(1), 109-123.
Birkenmaier, J. (2003). On becoming a social justice practitioner. Social Thought: Journal of Religion in the Social Services. 22(2-3), 41-54.
Breton, M. (1999). Sharing power. Journal of Progressive Human Services, 10(1), 33-51.
Ewalt, P. L.& Mokuau, N. (1995). Self-determination from a pacific perspective. Social Work 40 (2), 168-176.
Fawcett, S. B. (1991). Some values guiding community research and action. Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 24, 621-636.
September 17: Ethics in Social Work Practice
Ethics as expressions of professional values. Ethical conflicts and their resolution at all levels of practice.
Freud, S. & Krug, S. (2002). Beyond the code of ethics, Part 1: Complexities of ethical decision-making in social work practice. Families in Society, 83(4), 355-364.
Furman, R. (2003). Frameworks for understanding values discrepancies and ethical dilemmas in managed mental health for social work in the United States.
International Social Work.46(1), 37-52.
NASW code of ethics (1996). Washington D.C.: National Association of Social Workers
September 24: Definitions and Conceptual Themes in Oppression and Social Justice
A theoretical framework for understanding the structural and institutional dynamics of oppression and the struggle for social justice in United States.
Caputo, R. (2002). Social justice, the ethics of care and market economies. Families in Society. 83(4), 355-364.
Caputo, R. (2004). Women who die young: The cumulative disadvantage of race. Affilia.
Frankenberg, R. (1997).Growing up white: The social geography of race. In D. Kendall.
Race Class and Gender in a Diverse Society, 153-173.
Hartman, A. (1993). The professional is political. Social Work, July, 365-366
Sheppard, M. (2002). Mental health and social justice: Gender, race and psychological consequences of unfairness. British Journal of Social Work. 32(6), 779-797.
Smith, C.J. & Young, D.S. The multiple impacts of TANF, ASFA and Mandatory Drug Sentencing for families effected by maternal incarceration. (2003). Children and Youth Services Review. 25(7), 535-552.
October 1: Assessment Strategies for Larger Systems
How assessment of organizations and agencies sets the stage for future work.
Hyde, C. (2004). Multicultural development in human service agencies: Challenges and solutions. Social Work, 49(1), 7-16.
Mechanic, D. (1962). Sources of power of lower participants in complex organizations.
Administrative Science Quarterly, 7, 349-364.
Netting et al (2004). Social work macro practice. Chapter 5, (Understanding communities), pp. 125-157.
Robinson, M., Barbee, A., Martin, M., Singer, T. & Yegidid, B. (2003). The organizational costs of caregiving: A call to action. Administration in Social Work. 27(1), 83-102.
October 8: Impact of Organization Structure and Process on Oppression and Social Justice Sensitivity, self-awareness and understanding of the dynamics of help-seeking and how organizational structure and process impact client entry experiences and enhance or diminish social justice.
Germain, C. B. (1978). Space: An ecological variable in social work practice. Social casework. November, 1978.
Gitterman, A. & Miller, I. (1989). The influence of the organization on clinical practice.
Clinical Social Work Journal. 17 (2), 152-164.
Gutheil, I. (1992). Considering the physical environment: An essential component in social work practice. Social Work, 13(5), 391-396.
Nybell, L.M. & Grey, S.S. (2004). Race, place, space: Meanings of cultural competence in three child welfare agencies. Social Work. 49(1), 17-26.
Zayas, L. H. et. al. (1996). Clinicians' definition of ethnically sensitive therapy.
Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 270, 78-82.
October: Factors that Reduce Oppression and Further Social Justice in Agency Services The linkage of agency environment with service to clients. Examination of agency policies, values and beliefs about client systems.
Barratt, M. (2003). Organizational support for evidence-based practice within child and family social work: A collaborative study. Child and Family Social Work. 8(2), 143-150.
Beresford, P. & Croft, S. (2004). Service users and practitioners reunited: The key component for social work reform. British Journal of Social Work. 34(1), 53-68.
Dyche, L. & Zayas, L.H. (1995). The value of curiosity and naiveté for the cross-cultural psychotherapist. Family Process, 34 (Dec.), 390-399.
Netting, et. al. Social work macro practice. Chapter 8 (Analyzing human service organizations).
Peters, A.J. (2003). Isolation or inclusion: Creating safe spaces for lesbian and gay youth.
Families in Society. 84(3), 331-337.
Wilson, M. (2003).Preventing developmental disabilities and promoting maternal and child health: Women organizing for change. Affilia. 18(4), 473-478.
October 22: Planning Intervention Strategies Development of abilities to identify a concern, design a problem statement and plan of action
Aranda, M., Villa, V., Trejo, I., Ramirez, R. and Ranny, M. (2003). El portal latino Alzheimers project: model program for latino caregivers of Alzhemer disease affected people. Social Work. 48(2), 259-272.
Guitierrez, L. GlenMaye, L., & DeLois, D. (1995). The organizational context of empowerment practice: Implications for social work administration. Social Work. 40 (2), 249-258.
Netting et al (Eds.). (2004). Social work macro practice. Chapter 3 (Understanding community and organizational problems). Chapter 9 (Building support for the proposed change). Chapter 10 (Selecting Appropriate strategies and tactics).
Shera, W. & Page, J. (1995) Creating more effective human service organizations through strategies of empowerment. Administration in Social Work. Vol. 10(4).
October 29: Evaluation of Interventions
Ability to understand importance, constraints, and role of ongoing evaluation of practice.
Netting et al (Eds.). (2004). Social work macro practice. Chapter 11 (Planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the intervention).
Handouts Provided in Class
November 5: Understanding Oppression and Social Justice through Community Assessment
Development of ecological approach, sensitivity and beginning ability to look at communities as dynamic systems. Begin to use appropriate tools to assess community strengths, weaknesses, needs and systemic variables. Understand the role and application of oppression, privilege, social justice and empowerment strategies.
Castelloe, P., Watson, T., & White, C. (2002). Participatory change: An integrative approach to community practice. Journal of Community Practice. 10(4), 7-31.
Mizrahi, T. (2001). The Status of community organizing in 2001: community practice, context, complexities, contradictions and complexities. Research on Social Work Practice. 11(2), 176-189.
Netting et al (Eds.) Social work macro practice. Chapter 5 (Understanding communities).
November: Planning Community Interventions Variety of intervention strategies and the basis for choosing them.
Netting et al (2004). Social work macro practice. Chapter 6 (Analyzing communities), pp. 169-188
November 19: Community-focused Interventions and Evaluation
Beginning ability to implement a plan of action and evaluation methods.
Bakalinsky, R. (1994). The small group in community organization practice. Social Work with Groups 7(2), 87-96.
Luckey, I. (1996). HIV/AIDS prevention in the African American community: An integrated community-based practice approach. Journal of Community Practice, 2(4)
December 3: Student Presentations and Review Each student chooses one assignment/product and presents to the Class. (1/3 each week)
December 10: Student Presentations and review Each student chooses one assignment/product and presents to the Class.
December 17: Student Presentations and Wrap-up Each student chooses one assignment/product and presents to the Class. Additional Policies and Procedures:
Guide for Grading Paper Assignments
The following summarizes the expectations and standards that are used to grade papers or essay questions.
A. A paper that is well written, interesting, and demonstrates an understanding of the topic. Essential information is included. Literature is drawn upon judiciously and referenced appropriately. Ideas are expressed clearly, and a cogent and convincing case is presented. The topic is approached creatively and the student presents his/her own ideas and observations. The way the material is handled suggests that the student learned, took advantage of the course and its readings, and accepted the challenge posed by the assignment. AN EXCELLENT PAPER OR ANSWER THAT EXCEEDS THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE ASSIGNMENT.
B+. A more than satisfactory paper. The topic is handled well, is written clearly, and demonstrates considerable work and effort in organization and presentation. Literature or references are used and cited appropriately and show that the student has done research on his/her own. It is easy to read and interesting. The student has been creative in his/her approach to addressing ideas and points. A VERY GOOD PAPER OR ANSWER THAT IS MORE THAN SATISFACTORY.
B. A satisfactory paper meeting the expectations of how the question or topic should be covered. It is grammatically correct, edited, organized, and referenced in presenting relevant points. Necessary and relevant content is included; irrelevant or extraneous material is omitted. The paper demonstrates student's knowledge of the topic and indicates student input beyond text or class notes. There are no serious gaps and few wrong or incorrect points (except those from imaginative thinking or risk taking opinions). A GOOD ANSWER OR PAPER THAT SATISFACTORILY MEETS EXPECTATIONS OF THE ASSIGNMENT.
C. The paper is unclear and difficult to read or understand. It raises doubt about the student's grasp of the topic. Poor writing, inappropriate references, and unfocused narrative style may characterize this paper. Irrelevant points or ideas are given as if the student hopes to cover all bases in hopes that some will be correct. The work demonstrates a minimum investment of time and/or effort. There are a sufficient number of points made and references used to suggest the student has some understanding of the topic or question. A BORDERLINE ANSWER OR PAPER THAT BARELY MEETS EXPECTATIONS OF THE ASSIGNMENT AND GRADUATE SCHOOL STANDARDS.
F. A paper that fails to minimally address the topic or respond to the question. No evidence is offered to indicate student's understanding of the course content. There is little evidence of independent learning. Writing is poor, making it difficult to understand the student's point of focus. There may be a question of plagiarism or unethical practices in preparing or completing the assignment. AN ANSWER OR PAPER THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE BY GRADUATE SCHOOLS STANDARDS AND FAILS TO MEET EXPECTATIONS OF THE ASSIGNMENT.
Students are expected to discharge their obligations within the semester. Agreement to give an incomplete is an exception granted under unusual circumstances
Students With Disabilities
Any student with a documented disability (e.g. physical, learning, visual, hearing, psychiatric, etc.) and who has registered with the Office of Disability Services at 718-817-0655 may be entitled to accommodations. Students should register with the Office of Disability Services at the beginning of the semester.
Linkage between Social Justice and Integrative Field Seminar
To facilitate better integration between Social Justice and Field Seminar, two-pronged efforts will be made collectively and by individual Practice instructors:
Individual Practice Instructors should institute the following steps in the course requirements and specify them in the individual course syllabus:
1. Within the 1st five weeks of the term students will give their Practice Instructors and Faculty Advisors (i.e., integrative seminar leaders) copies of the educational agreements they developed with their field instructor.
2. By week ten students must give their Practice Instructors and faculty advisors a 2-3 page report that illustrates how the classroom content and field practicum are linked. This report should describe and appraise how classroom readings and discussions have informed field instruction through a social justice/macro practice lens and vice versa. It should illustrate how field instruction (i.e., supervision) and assignments have informed their understanding of classroom content. The report should identify gaps or tensions that exist between what students are learning in the classroom and what they are learning in the field.
3. By week fifteen students must turn in a second report, similar to the first report that includes, in addition, any changes or plans for correction that have been developed to improve the link between classroom and field practicum.
Practice Instructors and Faculty Advisors will use the reports to assure that meaningful links between the classroom and the field that support students' learning are established. Practice courses and Integrative Seminar contents may be adjusted based on the student feedback.
- Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty, which involves using someone else's written work or even ideas without giving proper credit or presenting as one's own, work that has been partially or wholly prepared by someone else. "Someone else" may be another student, a published author, a professor, a friend, or a business or on-line service that sells or distributes such papers or materials. These ideas and words can come from an Internet source, a newspaper article, an unpublished dissertation, a conference presentation, the popular press and scholarly journals as well as other sources.
- The nature of the "work" most commonly plagiarized is written work. However, it also can be ideas, concepts, organizational structure, data sets, electronic media, logos and other graphics.
- Plagiarism is considered a form of fraud or lying. One does not have to intentionally attempt to deceive the reader to be guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism also can happen inadvertently by not knowing how and when to cite sources.
- Plagiarism prevents students from learning new material and skills. It cheats students of learning opportunities by not allowing them to be challenged and to grow intellectually.
Examples of plagiarism include:
- Copying someone else's text verbatim, without using quotation marks and giving credit to the source. It is no defense to claim one has "forgotten" to do so.
- Paraphrasing someone else's work without giving him or her credit.
- Rewriting borrowed material by simply dropping a word here and there, substituting a few words for others, or moving around words or sentences, without giving proper credit.
- With the advent of the Internet, plagiarism has taken two forms:
- Copying a classmate's work or using a former student's paper. Even copying one sentence constitutes plagiarism.
- Making up a citation or making up data.
- Buying a term paper and trying to pass it off as one's own. [These are relatively easy to spot.]
- Downloading or cutting and pasting text directly from on-line sources without giving proper credit.
Can one plagiarize one's self?
- Either the person submits work for a course that was written for a previous course, or she or he turns in the same paper (or sections of the paper) for two different courses simultaneously.
What are the penalties for plagiarism?
- Plagiarism is not only a serious academic offense, it is also considered to be a breach of professional ethics. Consequently, the penalties can be quite severe.
- The student who plagiarizes can receive a failing grade not only for the assignment, but also for the entire course. This is up to the discretion of the professor teaching the course.
- The matter may also be referred to Dean Susan Egan at Lincoln Center. In Tarrytown, the matter may be referred to Dean Jane Edwards. The Deans determine what other actions to take, including whether dismissal of the student from the program is warranted. Please refer to the GSSS Student Handbook for an explanation of the consequences of plagiarism.
Why do some students plagiarize if it can potentially cost them their careers?
- Most students who do plagiarize are not secure with either their knowledge of the material or their writing skills. They fear receiving a bad grade for the assignment. They consider themselves as good or excellent students. The thought of receiving a bad grade is emotionally threatening.
- Many students who plagiarize are overwhelmed and have not allotted enough time to research and write the paper.
- Some students who plagiarize do so to save time and effort.
- They do not realize that many professors have electronic search engines designed to detect plagiarism.
How can you maintain your academic integrity and avoid plagiarism?
- Plan your time wisely. Give yourself ample time to research and write your first draft of your paper.
- Know when to use quote marks, single quote marks, and when you may simply give the name of the author and the date of publication of the source. This means you have to know the difference between a paraphrase and a quotation. There is a distinct difference.
- Have someone who is familiar with academic writing read early drafts of your paper.
- Buy a copy of the American Psychological Association's Publication Manual. This manual contains the standards that faculty at GSSS adhere to when writing and publishing papers.
- Attend APA writing workshops offered at GSSS.
- Use the writing clinic at GSSS.
- When in doubt as to whether or not you are citing a source properly, consult your course instructor.
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