Assignment 2: Personal Awareness & Preparedness for Social Work Practice (20%)
This assignment asks you to explore the profession of social work by reflecting on your own ideas and biases as well through the perspectives of an experienced social worker. Assignment 2 is due upon completion of Module 5.
This assignment consists of two parts:
- Part 1: Articulate and reflect on your own professional lens.
- Part 2: Interview a social worker who is in practice or has recently practiced social work. You will notbe marked on the quality of your interview technique but on your analysis of it.
The resulting paper (Part 1 and Part 2) should be between 2,000 and 2,500 words (8–10 pages), double-spaced, and in 12-point font.
Part 1: Articulate and Reflect on Your Own Professional Lens (15%)
- Past Beliefs:What were your past beliefs about the profession of social work?
- Others’ Perspective:How do you think most people define the practice of social work, and why do you think people hold these beliefs?
- Community Services:How do you see social work being provided in your own community, region, or country? As you walked around your community (in Module 1, Activity 1E), what biases and perspectives were you aware of as you saw individuals or groups in need.
Activity 1E: Social Work in Your Community
Take notes as you complete this learning activity. You will expand on your answers to these questions when completing Assignment 1.
- Walk around an area of your community in which social work agencies are more prominent.
- Notice the social agencies. Based on the information publicly available about these agencies, are their social workers using generalist skills? Can you recognize activities associated with both “helping” and “social justice”?
- Be aware of your feelings as you visit the area. Is this the first time you have been in this neighborhood? (If so, why?) Were you aware of the services provided here? (Why or why not?) What is your perspective on the people using the services?
- Important Values & Ideology:Describe the values of social work and ideology that you think are most important to your future practice. Discuss how your own culture, life experience, world views, ideology, and personal values will fit into your practice as a social worker and will affect your interpretation of social work values.
- Value Congruence:From the CASW/ACTS Guidelines for Ethical Practice (in Module 2), which values are consistent with your values and which may cause a dilemma? Provide examples of how one or two of these values were applied to situations you have experienced or are aware of fromthe news or coverage on the Internet.
- Role Preparedeness: Using the ecosystems approach, which roles within the micro, mezzo, macro systems do your existing skills and experiences most closely align with. Identify at least one role that would be a challenge for you, and discuss what changes you may have to make to feel confident in that role.
- Theoretical Bias:From your theoretical repertoire, select the theory or theories that you think is/are most important for your practice as a social worker and discuss why you have made the selection(s).
- Anti-Oppressive Understanding:Summarize in your own words your understanding of radical anti-oppressive practice. How would you explain this perspective to a friend?
Part 2: Interview a Social Worker (5%)
Contact a social worker in your community to interview for information about the practice of social work.
We recommend you choose one of the agencies you identified as you walked around your community in Module 1, Activity 1E. Contact the agency and explain that you are a student at Thompson Rivers University and are being asked to interview a social worker for this assignment. If no one is available to be interviewed, try another agency in your community. Contact your Open Learning Faculty Member if you are unable to find a social worker to interview.
In your paper, provide details about what you learned from the person, including the following:
- What types of practice does the social worker engage in? What roles does this social worker primarily perform? What are her or his views on various social issues, and how does she or he view the future of the profession of social work?
- Ask about the values and ethics, roles, and theoretical perspectives used in their practice. Is there congruence or divergence between how they were educated (or between your learning to date) and how social work is practiced in their community? If possible ask them to provide examples (although ensure that the examples remain anonymous).
- At the end of your assignment, please
- Identify what you learned through your interview? Did your views or ideas change as a result of this interview?
- List three questions that you continue to have about the profession of social work and would like to further explore in terms of understanding the profession. Provide some explanation of these questions and link them to the ideas, reflection, and knowledge described in this assignment.