M.S.W. / Ph.D. Course Descriptions(Note: Not all courses are offered in any given year)
Textbook: Graham, Swift and Delaney (2011) Canadian Social Policy: An Introduction, 4th Edition (Toronto: Pearson Education Canada).
This course emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge about the development of the Canadian welfare state – its rise and decline – and the skills needed to analyze the social policies and programs -- essential tools for all aspiring social work practitioners. Its goals are to gain critical awareness of 1) public social policies as the outcomes of competing social, political and economic forces and priorities, and 2) the implications of social policy choices for social work practice. The focus is on Canada – and particularly, Ontario – though comparisons will be made to other jurisdictions when appropriate. Social policy responses to the diverse needs of particular groups will be examined within the context of power, conflict and human rights. Special attention will be directed to distinctive social policy approaches in Quebec, and to the social policy dimensions of tax and social assistance policy.
All students will have access to online videotaped lectures by Friday midnight (4 week days prior to the live seminars). After each lecture, students enrolled in the online seminars (sections 1-4) will complete the weekly workload for course participation on their own schedules. They will be in regular online contact with their seminar leaders. Students in the classroom seminars (sections 5 & 6) will meet in those groups on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:30pm to engage in class participation activities with their seminar leaders.
Textbook: Bogo, M. (2006). Social Work Practice: Concepts, Processes, and Interviewing. Columbia University Press.
SWK4103H Elements of Social Work Practice and SWK4105H Social Work Practice Laboratory are required courses in the first term of our two-year M.S.W. Full-Time Program. These companion courses provide students with basic preparation for professional social work practice and are specifically designed to support students’ transition to their field practicum. Students will be in the same section, with the same instructor for both SWK 4103H and SWK 4105H.
The goal of this course is to provide students with core concepts used in direct social work practice with client systems. An ecological/systems perspective of person-in-environment is used to anchor generic concepts for a range of practice situations. The course will provide the opportunity to integrate social work theory and practice informed by research. The course will also provide students with the opportunity to be exposed to social work practice with diverse populations across the life cycle. This will occur through readings, class discussion, lecture, site visits and presentations by community colleagues. There is a particular focus on beginning work with clients, including the key components of developing a relationship and assessment.
SWK 4105H Social Work Practice LaboratoryStudents are required to successfully complete SWK4105H before being permitted to attend SWK 4701H Practicum I.
The Practice Laboratory is a companion course to the Elements of Social Work Practice and concepts studied in that course will be applied through practice simulations. This course aims to link and apply theory and research to social work practice as students master generic interviewing and communication competencies with a focus on relationship building and assessment with a diverse range of clients. SWK 4105 is also designed to develop professional competencies including the ability to critically self-reflect and work productively in a collegial group. This course is preparatory to the field practicum in second term of year one. Emphasis is given to developing a positive learning environment based on mutual support and respect.
This course critically engages with the knowledge, theories and values that constitute the foundation of the social work profession and inform its practice. This foundation has incorporated elements drawn from different disciplines and diverse knowledge bases. The process of integration and subsequent transformation is ongoing and ultimately contributes to developing a theoretical and value base needed to conduct professional, ethical, competent, evidence-based social work. We believe that social work is informed by multiple intersecting theories. A range of theories and approaches will be considered and students will learn to examine the various kinds of knowledge use in social work. The frameworks covered wifll span: intra-personal, interpersonal, environmental and social/ structural theories. Analyses of the strengths, limitations and relevancy of these frameworks will be conducted and contextualized with regard to the intersecting diversities found in Canadian society.
SWK 4210H Promoting Empowerment: Working at the Margins
This course will examine concepts and processes of marginalization and empowerment among populations whose issues are poorly addressed in conventional social service delivery. We will examine various forces (e.g., historical, colonial, economic, political, social and ideological forces) that create and sustain the marginalization of various groups (e.g., First Nations people, people who are homeless, people with disabilities and other populations selected by the class). We will explore the processes of marginalization, social exclusion and empowerment from four perspectives: (1) what theory, practice and research have illuminated; (2) what people who are affected by the problem say about their lives and the services they attempt to access; (3) innovations by social service organizations to develop appropriate delivery systems; and (4) creative and collective efforts by those who are affected by the problem. In addition, transnational and international perspectives are introduced through some of the empowerment strategies used in the Third World and examples of transnational grass-roots organizing efforts. We will also review other issues such as culture, spirituality and human rights as they relate to empowerment, as well as research studies and evaluation examples focusing on empowerment practice. Throughout the class, attention will be paid to our own social identities and how they affect our analysis and interventions.
SWK 4304H Globalization and Trans-nationalization: Intersections of Policy and Community Practice Locally and Globally
In this course, students will critically analyze the contradictions of globalization and transnationalism as experienced locally, and explore ways in which social workers and other service providers can respond effectively to these forces using different policy tools and strategies. The course encourages students to consider policy as a negotiated practice where social workers, clients, communities and other stakeholders take up a range of practices to create, resist, influence and enact social policies.
Students will investigate different approaches to policy practice including activism, community building, ally work in addition to more conventional approaches like policy brief writing and lobbying. We will address key concepts related to globalization, transnationalism, local/global sites, and legacies of colonialism. Students will investigate examples and possibilities of local, international and transnational policy practice and community mobilization to work against/with/around globalization. Labour systems (including gendered, racialised nature of care work), human rights struggles, indigenous rights, and immigration and citizenship serve as investigative sites for developing this critical policy practice.
The course will employ activities that foster reflexive analysis of students’ subjective positions while identifying strategies to address complex issues facing social work policy practice in today’s globalised world.
As a core value in social work, this course examines epistemological and theoretical approaches to understanding social justice as they relate to social exclusion, marginalization, inequity, and oppression.
Through a framework of intersectionality, we will address interconnected social processes and conditions associated with: imperialism and colonization; poverty and classism; racism and whiteness; citizenship and statelessness; multiculturalism and nationalism; anti-Semitism and Islamophobia; sexism, heterosexism and homophobia; and ableism and disability.
fThis course will link personal knowledge with collective historical and institutional knowledges towards informing anti-oppression and decolonizing social work. Students will also explore how strategies for redressing various processes of injustice vary across socio-political contexts. Attention will be paid to how concepts can be engaged with, re-imagined, and inform/instill/incite the work of resistance and activism in social work.
(Approved elective course for Collaborative Program in Women’s Studies)
The goal of the course is to develop a critical analysis of how social policies reflect dominant understanding of women in Canadian society. Current feminist thought on diversity and policy models will inform a discussion of programs that have been put in place to address "women's issues". The implications of these critiques for future policy directions in various substantive areas are considered.
This course examines Canadian mental health and health policy and services with a particular emphasis on Ontario. It also reviews cross-national comparisons to identify similarities and differences in the development of mental health and health policy and services. The course is based on the assumption that social workers in mental health and health settings should be able to participate in the assessment and modification of conditions that affect mental health and health by intervening with individuals and families, and assisting in the development of relevant and effective programs and service systems for mental and physical illness.
SWK 4516H Advanced Research in Social Work- Producing Systematic Reviews of the Published and Grey Literature
The purpose of this course is for students to produce publishable systematic reviews relevant to social work practice and/or policy. All research will be conducted in teams with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 students. Team membership and the topic of research will be decided by team members, not assigned by the instructor. Building on the search skills and critical appraisal abilities developed in SWK 4510, teams will produce a systematic review of the published and grey literature. The teams will follow a rigorous scientific methodology to produce an unbiased and comprehensive assessment of a social work issue or intervention. Strategies for writing and publishing academic peer-reviewed articles will be addressed.
SWK 4418H – Introduction to Jewish Perspectives on Caring
This course will explore the social, ethical and philosophical impact of ethno-specific community care from one particular group within the context of the Canadian multicultural mosaic. It will provide perspectives on social action and social justice in the areas of settlement, anti-oppression, spirituality, social welfare, diversity, ethno-specific agencies and community development. Jewish traditions and culture have a long history of addressing issues related to caring for others, at the individual and the collective, community and societal levels. The course will provide opportunities for students, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to learn about the culture and traditions of caring that are central throughout Jewish history and will examine where the current and historical Jewish experience, may be relevant to other minority groups in a diverse society. Resource persons representing the breadth of Toronto's Jewish academic, social and communal services will address practice related contemporary and historical issues relevant to social work’s current pluralistic orientation. The course will contribute a new perspective – that of one minority community – to the Faculty’s range of diversity-related learning opportunities.
All human rights violations are acts which disregard human dignity and the rule of law. Human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, are not understood very well and many are not widely recognized, let alone achieved. In addition, as the 1997 Annual Report of the Canadian Human Rights Commission notes, a significant gap persists between the rights that have been won in law and the reality of people’s day-to-day lives. Professionals have an obligation to not only recognize and respect the rights of their clients but to fully understand the nature of their rights and to help promote their realization. Advocates and activists can use a human rights framework as one means of helping to achieve social change for greater social justice. This course is focused on the relationship between social welfare issues and Canada’s human rights obligations. The questions addressed include: Do Canadians have the right to an adequate standard of living? What does this mean? What are ‘economic, social and cultural rights’? Where do they come from? How, if at all, are they different from civil and political rights? Can progress in achieving greater social justice be made by advocating the implementation of the right to an adequate standard of living? Having signed all key human rights treaties, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, what are Canada’s obligations; what monitoring and enforcement mechanisms are available?
This course examines a broad range of social issues associated with Canada's housing system. The focus is on the social policy implications of the problems lower income households and specific groups within the population (based on gender, ‘race’ and/or socio-economic status) have in accessing affordable appropriate housing in good quality neighbourhoods. The gender, ‘race’ and ethnicity aspects of housing issues are a particular focus and permeate all sessions. A particular theme throughout this course is Canada’s rental housing sector, which houses one third of all Canada’s households (and half of the City of Toronto’s households). This course also focuses on the growing number of people who are unhoused. People who are homeless require housing, some require support services (for physical or mental health problems, or addictions) and all require enough money to live on (jobs, job training, or social assistance). What do we mean by the term ‘homelessness’? What is the difference between the ‘old’ (pre-1980s) and the ‘new’ homelessness? Who is homeless, why, and for how long? What should be done about it? How do we prevent and eventually eliminate mass homelessness?
This course focuses on the skills needed by senior managers and administrations to take effective leadership within the organization and outside the organization. It is designed to develop leaders with vision, values and strong skills in stakeholder relations. Key areas covered will include: understanding leadership; ethics and leadership; working with Boards of Directors/governance; stakeholder relations including relations with funders; transparency/public accountability; public engagement; strategic planning/social entrepreneurship; fundraising strategies for marginalized populations; developing alliances/collaboration; core values that determine the shape and function of organizations; processes of social exclusion and marginalization; achieving diversity among staff and management reflective of the diversity of the agency’s clients; creating a physical environment that is accessible to diverse community members; culturally competent service delivery.
Leaders of organizations of any size need to be able to understand and manage the finances of the agency. This course is designed to ensure that students acquire comprehensive skills in financial management and can apply those skills to ensure the financial health of their agency. Topics will include: management accounting; budgeting and forecasting; funding contracts; risk management; grantsmanship; fundraising.
The greatest asset of a social service organization is its staff, and the greatest potential liability for such organizations relates to difficulties in management of staff. Administrators need to know how to attract and keep the best people, and how to protect their organization from liability relating to employment matters. This course will cover key areas in human resource management such as: comparison of unionized and non-unionized environments; hiring: writing job descriptions, attracting diverse candidates, best practices for candidate selection; orientation, training and development; performance management; termination; volunteer recruitment and management.
SWK 4502H Social Work Research II: Quantitative Techniques
SWK 4506H Applied Quantitative Data Analysis
This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to understand and apply methods of quantitative analysis to social work research topics. Several major statistical techniques will be presented including chi-squares, t-tests, one-way ANOVAs (analysis of variance), correlation, simple regression and some non-parametric tests. Students will gain knowledge of the SPSS computer software program through weekly hands-on assignments applying these statistical techniques to a secondary data set. Using this data set, the final research project will entail the use of descriptive and inferential statistics to comprehensively analyze and interpret their selected research topic.
(SWK4510H is a prerequisite for all second year required courses - students in the Two-Year M.S.W. Program take this course in the first year of the Two-Year Program. Students in the One-Year M.S.W. Program with Advanced Standing take this course in the first term of their program.)
Textbook: Rubin, Allen & Bellamy, Jennifer (2012). Practitioner’s Guide to Using Research for Evidence-Based Practice. New Jersey: Wiley.
Evidenced Based Social Work Practice is a systematic approach to making decisions that emphasize (1) formulating questions; (2) locating, evaluating and interpreting the relevant research evidence; (3) applying best available evidence to the initial context; and (4) evaluating the implementation of the decision. Using a problem-based learning model, students evaluate and interpret the best evidence available relative to a number of social work policy and practice questions. Supported by a series of research methods tutorials, students develop an understanding of some of the basic quantitative and qualitative research designs and methods appropriate for answering policy and practice questions.
SWK 4510H - Section 0901 (web-based): Research for Evidence-Based Social Work Practice
This class covers the same material that is covered in the ‘in class’ SW4510 course, but will rely more heavily on bulletin board postings and other forms of new media. Evidenced Based Social Work Practice is a systematic approach to making decisions that emphasize (1) formulating questions; (2) locating, evaluating and interpreting the relevant research evidence; (3) applying best available evidence to the initial context; and (4) evaluating the implementation of the decision. Using a web-based, problem-based learning model, students will learn how to pose an answerable question; locate, evaluate, and interpret the best evidence available relative to a number of social work policy and practice questions; and begin learning how to apply this information in their work with clients. Supported by a series of interactive research methods tutorials, students develop an understanding of some of the basic quantitative and qualitative research designs and methods appropriate for answering policy and practice questions.
The course builds on the foundation research course in facilitating the application of research knowledge and skills to the design of a social work research project in health and mental health. It builds on practice and policy courses and practicum experience in enabling the application of field experience and knowledge to the design and evaluation of social work research. A central component of the course will comprise integration of research, theory and practice. The goal is to give students the opportunity to integrate the knowledge and skills from previous courses and their practicum experiences to produce a social work research proposal in the area of health and mental health.
SWK 4512H Research Knowledge for Social Justice
This course explores the role of the researcher in promoting social justice and diversity in social work practice and explores models of research with, rather than on communities. Learners will become familiar with methodologies that are developed to challenge the social inequalities underlying the production and dissemination of knowledge.
The course is based upon critical theory premises, which deconstruct notions of a unitary truth that can be known by one method. While critical theory is diverse and comes with many debates within, for the purposes of this course, the goal of research is ultimately positioned to be a means of challenging and changing the inequities around them through understanding human conditions.
The course will draw on insights from disciplines such as Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, Aboriginal Studies, Critical Race Theory, Disability Studies, and LGBT Studies in examining the dynamics of race, gender, power, social change and their intersectionalities in the research process. Central to this course are methodologies that seek to redress power dynamics between researcher and those being “researched”. We will examine the strengths and challenges of Participatory Action Research, Community-Based Research, Feminist Research, and Anti-Oppressive Research. We will also explore questions that arise when we utilize interviews, focus groups, participant observation and arts-based methods in the context of community-based, anti-oppressive research.
During the course, learners will have the opportunity to design their own research project that reflects perspectives from anti-oppressive perspectives.
SWK 4513H Knowledge Building in Social Work
With the growing emphasis on evidence-based social work practice, gerontological social work practitioners need reliable and unbiased summaries of the effectiveness of a wide range of therapeutic and policy interventions. In contrast to more traditional literature reviews, systematic reviews follow a rigorous scientific methodology to minimize bias in article selection and in the interpretation of findings. The major purpose of this course is to provide students with the skills to develop a systematic literature review of the effectiveness of a social work intervention with an older population. This class builds on the skills learned in SWK 4510H. The systematic reviews will be conducted in groups.
SWK 4514H Research for Practice with Children and their Families
This course focuses on the application of research methods to understand and to evaluate practice with Children and Their Families (CTF). It builds on the first-year course, SWK4510H Research for Evidence-Based Practice through utilizing an evidence-based approach to explore issues relevant to CTF and to identify best practices. Emphasis will be placed on research and evaluation approaches that are commonly applied in child and family settings. These include exploring program logic and program evaluation models, identifying, constructing, critiquing and utilizing outcomes in CTF practice. Single system evaluation of practice, quality assurance and improvement models will also be explored. Students will be expected to demonstrate how one or more of these approaches help them to identify effective interventions within CTF practice. It is hoped that students will be able to use some of the issues identified in the companion course, Contemporary Issues in Working with Children and their Families, as a context for demonstrating how these research and evaluation models can address effectiveness issues.
Senior managers need to know how to structure their organizations to meet organizational goals, how to identify and measure these goals, and how to track process and refine service delivery to meet these goals including responding to changing needs.
SWK 4602H Social Work Practice With Groups
Knowledge of the theoretical foundation and practice skills for working with groups in social work is a widely useful component of graduate level social work education. The application of group work knowledge is called for in all areas of the profession, including community organization and development, clinical practice, and committee and team work in policy-making and administrative contexts. This course provides a social work methodology for working with groups, which is applicable to a variety of purposes, issues and populations. As such, it cross-cuts the individual, family, group, community and policy aspects of the curriculum. Social work's on-going commitment to achieving social justice is emphasized and various forms of diversity, oppression and privilege are addressed throughout the course.
Knowledge of the theoretical foundation and practice skills for working with groups in social work is a widely useful component of graduate level social work education. The application of group work knowledge is called for in all areas of the profession, including community organization and development, clinical practice, and committee and team work in policy-making and administrative contexts. This course provides a social work methodology for working with groups, which is applicable to a variety of purposes, issues, and populations. As such, it cross-cuts the individual, group, community and policy aspects of the curriculum. Social work’s on-going commitment to achieving social justice is emphasized and the issues of various forms of diversity, oppression and privilege are addressed throughout the course.
SWK4604H is a prerequisite for SWK4631H Adv. SWK Practice in Mental Health
Mental illness and mental health problems affect the lives of individuals and families that social workers encounter in a wide range of health and social service settings. This course aims to equip students to provide sensitive and effective help to clients by presenting material concerning a range of mental health problems and their treatment. The course considers social work practice across the continuum of mental health care services. Attention is focused on how social workers assess, support and intervene with consideration of both the client and his or her environment. Like other courses at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, this course emphasizes the integration of research and theory with practice and the application of evidence-based approaches.
SWK 4605H Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families
This course provides fundamental preparation for students to understand clinical social work practice with individuals and families. Building on the engagement, alliance development and assessment skills students have mastered in the first term, this course introduces students to basic intervention strategies and procedures commonly utilized in clinical social work practice with individuals and families. The course approaches practice from a biopsychosocial perspective, highlighting neuro-cognitive, intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, social, political and economic factors that influence personal and interpersonal well-being, and social justice. The course is anchored in a client-centered and client-focused approach to practice which emphasizes engagement throughout the helping process.
One focus of the course will be on applying selected theoretical frameworks to engagement, assessment and intervention in practice with individuals in an ecological context. Each framework will be examined from the perspectives of problem definition, intervention strategies and critiques of biases, as well as the research evidence. Concepts of transference and countertransference as they apply to clinical work will be covered and applied to case examples.
Each learner will be encouraged to develop the details of his or her own approach to practice which incorporates professional values and focus, ethics, theories, intervention strategies, evaluation approaches, and previous learning. Learners will refine this individualized, professional model of practice throughout the course. Since this course is offered concurrently with the practicum, emphasis will be placed on the integration of classroom learning with students' practicum experiences.
SWK 4606H Diversity, Access and Equity in Social Work Practice
This course provides an opportunity to “reflect-on-practice” through a critical and anti-oppression lens. Students are invited to critically examine what constitutes effective, justice infused professional practice through an interconnected set of course activities including, group process, assigned readings, consideration of historical precedents, engagement with guest speakers speaking about their own approaches to anti-oppressive practice, student-led presentations, and student’s own professional experiences in social work practice as case material for class discussion and personal reflection.
The goal of the course is to identify a professional skill set necessary to effect social change at different scales – personal, interpersonal, family/community, organizational/institutional, and macro (community, policy and legislation). Careful consideration will be given to assessing—in a theoretically and methodologically rigorous, reflexive way—how social work practice tools and strategies can replicate inequalities, or work towards developing more accessible and equitable opportunities for diverse communities.
SWK 4608H Social Work Practice with Families
This course is designed to familiarize students with the core concepts and skills necessary for social work practice with families. An integrated family systems and ecological developmental model provides the guiding framework for viewing children and adolescents within the context of their families and extra-familial relationships that aﬀect their development and functioning. Emphasis is on the development of clinical case conceptualization and practice skills in engagement, assessment, and intervention with families that are grounded in current research on treatment eﬀectiveness and empirically supported theories on parenting and family processes, child functioning, and therapeutic change. We will examine the theoretical and practice roots, therapeutic processes, and speciﬁc treatment strategies both within and across selected parenting and family therapy models. Attention will be paid to the diverse nature of families within the context of their unique needs and the multiple systems in which family life is embedded.
One-week summer intensive Aug. 12-16, 2013 (offered Summer 2013)
This course is designed to familiarize students with the core concepts and skills necessary for social work practice with families. An integrated family systems and ecological developmental model provides the guiding framework for viewing children and adolescents within the context of their families and extra-familial relationships that affect their development and functioning. The primary focus will be on the development of evidence informed clinical case conceptualization and practice skills in engagement, assessment, and intervention with families. See the semester long syllabus available in the FIFSW office for a fuller course description.
The course will be adapted for the one week format but will essentially be equivalent to the semester long course and consist of lectures, family therapy videos, role plays, group work and discussion. Students will form Family Groups and work as a collaborative team throughout the course for the purpose of applying course content to a family, role playing and assignments that build on Family Group learning. In some ways, the daily class format will be similar to a workshop. The ongoing Family Group will offer an opportunity to practice new learning skills in a supportive collaborative environment and takes on special importance in the one week format because students will not be in practicum with the opportunity to apply learning to ongoing cases.
The syllabus and course readings will be available on Blackboard in June and will need to be read ahead of time. The readings are clinically rich and key for contributing to and benefitting from class activities. To facilitate both moving into Family Groups and reflecting on readings, class participants should be prepared to introduce themselves, their interests, and “gems” of learning or questions from the readings on Day 1. You should expect to put in some evening time during the week to review readings as needed and to work on two short assignments. The final written product will build on and extend previous Family Group work and be due two weeks after course completion.
SWK 4609H Sexuality, Sexual Diversity of Social Work Practice
This course explores contemporary issues in sexuality, sexual diversity and social work practice. It is based within a post-structural framework that not only challenges heteronormativity, but also recognizes the intersection of various forms of oppression including sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, ableism and ageism. This course will critically examine the social and political contexts in which sexuality is constructed, regulated and institutionalized. A practical and analytical approach to social work practice will be discussed.
SWK 4610H Advanced Social Work Practice With Couples
This course explores a range of practice approaches relevant to working with couples, including Cognitive-Behavioral, Emotionally-Focused, Solution-Focused and Narrative. Topics include special issues, structure, boundaries, ethics, diversity, effectiveness research and evaluation. The assignment focuses on having students develop and critiquing their own practice model for work with couples.
SWK 4612Y Social Work and Aging: Integrated Policy and Practice (full course)This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills for application to a wide range of gerontological practice situations, using an evidence-based practice approach to understanding older adults and their families. Attention will be given to cultural diversity, gender issues and social justice/ethical dilemmas. The course integrates both practice and policy and will start with individual issues arising in the student's practicum and conclude with an understanding of the social policies influencing these issues.
SWK 4613H Social Work Practice in Mental Health: Older Populations
(Approved elective course for Collaborative Program in Aging and the Life Course)
This course focuses on mental disorders that are diagnosed In older populations and the course of mental illnesses as people diagnosed with mental illnesses age. Using a life course perspective, readings and lectures will explore the psychosocial issues that affect individuals diagnosed with mental illness and their family members and how social work intervention can promote mental health and well-being for clients social workers may encounter in health, social and community services.
SWK 4616H Drug Dependencies: Interventive Approaches
(Approved elective course for Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies)
The focus is on the specialized knowledge base needed to enhance practice with alcohol and drug dependent client systems in individual, group and family counselling/therapy.
SWK 4617H Cross-Cultural Social Work Practice
(Approved elective course for Collaborative Program in Ethnic and Pluralism Studies).
This course is designed to increase the analytical and practice competence of participants when working with populations whose culture is different from their own. Its foci are to gain an understanding of the phenomena of culture, and how culture impacts the practitioner, the client, and the helping process; to appreciate the experience of the culturally different, and how such experiences may affect the overall functioning of client populations; to critically examine social work and its service systems, and to offer alternatives consistent with multi-cultural realities; and finally, to begin to develop inter-cultural communication skills and to explore alternative approaches in working within a culturally diverse context.
SWK 4618H Special Issues in Gerontological Social Work
This course will examine selected areas in social gerontology that reflect the current challenges facing social work practitioners who work with older adults and their families. The issues chosen will change from rear to year and will be determined by current concerns that impact the lives of the elderly. The course will be taught by those who are engaged in practice, policy and/or research concerning the selected topic. The topics for the current academic year include: legal, ethical and competency issues; elder abuse: physical, psychological and financial. The goal of the course is to ensure that practitioners are up to date in their knowledge and skills about the latest developments in gerontological social work.
A major difficulty of family law is that the problems brought by families are often not primarily legal problems; they are deep human problems in which the law is involved. Settlements that are worked out among the parties, voluntarily and co-operatively, are not only more humane than those forced by litigation, but they are more practical, more economical and more likely to endure. In the federal Divorce Act and in recent Provincial legal reforms, Family Mediation received strong support as a meaningful alternative to traditional practices. To meet this challenge, this course will help students to develop a critical awareness of various co-operative approaches to dispute resolution, with particular emphasis on family mediation. To these ends, a feminist-informed and cultural sensitive perspective in this emerging interdisciplinary approach will be presented. Throughout, the practical application of theory, research findings and conflict resolution skills will be stressed. Role plays and videotapes of actual mediation session will be used.
SWK 4620H Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents
This course prepares students for social work practice with children and adolescents within this ecological developmental context.
The course will incorporate content on:
1) therapeutic skills and strategies required for assessment and intervention with children and adolescents;
2) developmental perspectives within an ecological context;
3) selected practice theories (e.g., feminist, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural); and
4) examination of the interactions between the social worker and the child or adolescent and their family and the impact of these interactions on the therapeutic work. Attention will be paid to diversity and oppressions that may impact children and adolescents.
SWK 4621 Integrative Child & Adolescent Therapy: Theory and Practice
Rationale and Significance: Professional social workers require a solid foundation of knowledge, which is linked with practice. This course examines several fundamental theories relevant to social work practice that support students' experiences and learning in other first year foundation courses.
SWK 4622H is a prerequisite for SWK 4632H Adv. SWK Practice in Health
This course will address the practice of social work in health care reflecting the health care needs of Canada’s population, which range from health promotion to long-term care. The primary focus of this course will be the increasing complexity of integrating social work practice with the current issues in the health care system. The course content will identify unique population needs, practice settings, social work interventions and policy issues. Practice models presented will include both micro and macro interventions, which incorporate competence and empowerment as central themes. New models of care are being considered, including primary health care. In this time of change, social workers have an important role to play in health care by articulating and illuminating: the impact of socio-cultural factors on health and well being; the significance of family relationships and resources in the management of chronic and complex health conditions; and interventions that support individual and family capacity to adapt to acute health crises or chronic health conditions.
(Approved elective course for Collaborative Program in Women’s Studies)
Violence Against Women: Inter-Disciplinary Responses to Woman Abuse and Children Exposed to Family Violence
Based on feminist principles this course integrates theory and practice, and incorporates analyses of policy and inter-disciplinary responses to woman abuse and children exposed to domestic violence. In Canada, violence in families occurs at alarming rates; however, societal and professional response to this serious problem has been variable. Emphasis will be on the relationships between societal structures and the family, and congruence with professional practice response. The course explores how various forms of abuse/violence is perpetrated and maintained, examines escape from domination, and reviews interventions with best outcomes for abused women and children. These issues are studied and discussed within the diverse contexts of family life, and take into account the multiple influences of intersecting oppressions on families.
(Approved elective course for Collaborative Program in Women’s Studies)
SWK 4624H Feminist Social Work Practice
This course will provide students an opportunity to gain knowledge of feminist-informed counselling approaches and issues that are relevant to working with women. The practice framework draws heavily on feminist, relational and narrative ways of working as well as drawing on material which focuses on specific counselling issues and themes. This course views clinical issues within the wider social cultural context and is sensitive to the influences of the dominant discourses in our practice. The course will focus on the development of practice skills through discussion of practice situation and scenarios. The course will also integrate the use of non-verbal and creative modalities with clients.
New title and description as of September 2011
This course explores the historical, political, theoretical, legal and practice dimensions of working with children and families within the context of child welfare. The course is designed to provide social work students with a forum to critically explore the social, political and legislative changes that have transformed child welfare services. Social workers in all fields (health, school system, mediation, corrections, refugee and immigrant services, etc. ) come into contact with children and families who are seen as “at risk”. Social work practitioners need the necessary foundation, knowledge and skills to work collaboratively to help support, advocate and intervene with children and families who come into contact with child welfare services. This course attempts to move beyond longstanding divisions between traditional child welfare services and other child-related services by exploring ways in children and families can be supported regardless of their point of service contact. Students will develop a thorough understanding of child welfare services and the range of services that can be offered for children and families to promote safety, protection, permanency, well-being and positive adjustment.(Previous title and description follows)
Contemporary Issues in Working with Children and their Families
This course emphasizes evidence-based practice and critical thinking to determine what programs and policies are best suited to address the needs of children, adolescents and their families and communities. The course is designed to complement the Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents course and the Social Work Practice with Families course that together with Contemporary Issues in working with Children and their Families and Research for Practice with Children and their Families, forms the core of the Children and their Families specialization. As such, the course is guided by the specialization's ecological developmental framework, emphasizing the multiple determinants of problem behaviour and also of resilient development across developmental phases. The course examines cross cutting issues within the ecology of children, adolescents and their families across multiple systems. From this perspective, the course emphasizes opportunities for action at all levels of children's social ecology, from individual interventions, to prevention programs, to developing more effective policies.
This course is designed to give students an overview of the key issues, concerns and perspectives involved in social work with Aboriginal peoples. Aboriginal peoples in North America have traditions of healing, caring and restoring balance between spirit, mind, body and emotion that long predate Western models of social work. Any social work intervention must honor and build on the strengths, resiliency, diversity and sovereignty of Aboriginal communities. Social workers must also acknowledge Aboriginal epistemologies, the unique systems of knowledge that guide and underpin Aboriginal helping practices.
The course will explore the historical legacies of colonization, racism, struggles over land and sovereignty and the systemic destruction of traditional practices. This historical context is essential in understanding the contemporary social problems facing urban and rural Aboriginal communities which will be examined in the course, including substance abuse, family violence, suicide and homelessness. Students will be exposed to contemporary Aboriginal models of healing and helping, developed by and for Aboriginal communities. Finally, the course will explore points of connection between Western and Aboriginal social work practices and philosophies, as well as identifying key differences. The course will employ a holistic approach, potentially involving community members, elders and experiential as well as formal learning styles.
The main aim of this course is to explore different aspects of narrative construction and the intersection between 'personal life stories', broader societal, cultural and institutionally shaped narratives. A related aim is to grapple with the consideration that narratives are always partial representations. What comes to be represented through narrative means are diverse and often divergent versions and viewpoints about personal-social issues. Diversity content and approaches are an integral part of this course which rests on the diversity of perspectives and how they cut across levels of activities. We will be drawing from various interdisciplinary sources and work, in the course, to derive implications for social work knowledge and practice.
This elective course will be designed for social work students interested in the field of palliative care and those who are further expanding their knowledge and skills in social work practice with clients/families confronted by life-limiting illnesses.
This course will explore the interprofessional nature of palliative care, considering perspectives of social work as well as other disciplines related to care of patients and families facing death.
Through integrating the knowledge and skills to work with the strengths/assets and weaknesses/barriers at the individual, family, group, organizational, community and policy levels, students will be able to:
- Describe the elements of a comprehensive diagnostic assessment for dementia as well as bio-psycho-social assessment of individual and family needs throughout the progression of dementia
- Identify the constellation and progression of intellectual, psychiatric, social and behavioural symptoms of distinct forms of dementia
- Define current options for lowering the risk of dementia and treatment of symptoms
- Describe evidence-based communication techniques and strategies for a person centred approach to care and support
- Identify and assess the needs of individuals and families living with dementia
- Understand appropriate, culturally congruent clinical intervention strategies consistent with clients at varying stages of dementia
- Describe the multiple dementia-care related roles and practice functions of social workers in interdisciplinary practice settings throughout the continuum of care
Rationale and Overview:
Dementia is an umbrella term for a variety of brain disorders. Symptoms include loss of memory, judgment and reasoning, and changes in mood and behaviour. Brain function is sufficiently affected to interfere with a person's ability to function at work, in relationships and in everyday activities. In 2011, 747,000 Canadians were living with cognitive impairment, including dementia, representing 14.9 per cent of Canadians 65 and older.1 By 2031, this figure will increase to 1.4 million if nothing is done to stem the tide. Today, the combined direct (medical) and indirect (lost earnings) costs of dementia total $33 billion per year. Again, if nothing changes, this number will climb to $293 billion a year by 2040.
This course focuses on the processes of differential diagnosis and assessment, evidence-based psychosocial and pharmacologic interventions and best-practice guidelines and clinical social work practices with persons with dementia and their families. Students will learn about the neuropathology and progression of the diseases, assessment and diagnosis of intellectual, psychiatric, social and behavioural symptoms of dementia, ethical and socio-cultural issues dementia care, clinical social work practice with individuals with dementia and their families and the continuum of current care systems, including those that are innovative and ‘state of the art’.
1 A new way of looking at the impact of dementia in Canada. Alzheimer Society, 2012
Organizations must engage in an ongoing process of self-assessment and planning for the future. Strategic planning is an increasingly important part of administration in the health and social service sectors and requires understanding of how to work with internal and external stakeholders to plan, implement and evaluate strategic plans while attending to issues of resource development. This course will use readings, case studies, guest speakers and class discussion to explore these processes.
The diagnosis of an acute or chronic health condition in a child or adolescent often creates a crisis for the child and entire family and may overwhelm their ability to cope, which has the potential to impact the processes of care and recovery, and may result in less than optimal health outcomes. Children and families may face added struggles related to family conflict or associated with other social determinants of health such as inadequate income, housing, employment or social exclusion. These struggles compound the impact of the health condition and create added stress for the child and family.
The purpose of this course is to assist students to learn how to assess, develop and carry out intervention plans for children, adolescents and their families who are impacted by health care challenges. The course will incorporate content on 1) assessment of immediate and ongoing needs of children and teens impacted by health care challenges; 2) developmental perspectives on the needs of pediatric patients and their families; 3) skills and strategies commonly employed in social work practice in a pediatric health care setting; 4) challenges and opportunities working within family-centred and interprofessional models of practice and 5) special issues and topics related to pediatric health care with children and adolescents.
Throughout the course there will be an emphasis upon integration of theory, practice, and research and the impact and contribution of diversity.
Course title and description will be updated if course is active in a given academic session.
This course provides foundation content on social work methods in working with organizations and communities. It is designed to complement the social work courses that individuals receive in the foundation year of preparation for student's entry into the second year of the master's program. The course will utilize the generalist intervention model and practice skills. The course will focus on social work methods and theory, skills and techniques that help to effect change, solve problems and enhance the functioning of organizations and communities.
SWK 4658H Social Work With Immigrants and Refugees
This course examines the social construction of immigrants, visible minorities and people of colour, as well as, the intersecting oppressions of race/ethnicity, gender, class, age, sexual orientation and differential ability experienced by immigrants and refugees in Canada. The course provides an overview of the history of immigration to Canada and the impact of social policies and programs on the settlement and adaptation of newcomers. The course will also highlight the barriers that newcomers face in Canadian society and emphasis will be placed on access and equity as fundamental principles that should form the basis of human service delivery for newcomers. Finally, the course examines different models of service provision with a view to developing empowering practice with immigrants and refugees. Throughout the course, special attention will be paid to the integration of theory, research and practice, and the different levels of practice.
SWK 4662H Principles of Social Policy Analysis
This course approaches social policy as a redistributive process operating at a macro (highly aggregative) level. Social policy is distinguished from economic policy as we pose two central questions: who receives what and in what form? And, who pays how much and in what manner? Much attention in this course is directed towards the funding of social programs - the tax system; user fees; charitable giving; and privatisation are all examined. Extensive references are made to the shrinking welfare state federally, provincially and municipally. The term assignment differs fundamentally from a traditional term paper, and instead, takes the form of a Submission to Cabinet, using formal Cabinet guidelines. There is a single textbook (Ernie Lightman, Social Policy in Canada, Oxford University Press, 2003) supplemented by a limited number of other readings. This course is not suitable for Ph.D. students.
This course reviews management theory and practice and aims to prepare students for leadership roles in social work organizations. Topics include: preparing funding proposals, budgeting, team building, appraising staff performance, supervision and working with voluntary boards. We will use a hand on approach in which we will create an organization and deal with issues arising in the organization over the term.
This course explores information technology and its impact on professional social work practice. Current and emerging applications of technology to social work practice will be highlighted. Topics will include e-mail therapy and other forms of cybercounselling, Web-based education and training, social advocacy and community practice applications, power searching the Internet, diversity, ethics and the Web.
A major emphasis will be placed on the World Wide Web (WWW) and students will be required to develop knowledge and skill in using this global information resource, including developing advanced search strategies and familiarity with WWW resources for social work practice. Only a basic level of expertise with computers is necessary (e.g., word processing). One assignment is required which involves using technology to meet a social work related need.
This graduate seminar explores current research and theory on clinical and policy issues in child welfare. The seminar seeks to bridge the gap that has often separated clinical and policy issues, as well as span the division between traditional child welfare services and other child and youth service systems. Clinical child welfare issues are best understood in terms of the social and institutional frameworks that define them. Likewise, child welfare policy should be guided by a thorough understanding of children's needs and of the effectiveness of available services and supports.
A student who has not met the minimal competency requirements for the Practicum at mid-term of Year One may not register for any Year Two required courses without special permission from the office of the Associate Dean, Academic.
In order to achieve a sufficient and broad knowledge base in the Year I practicum, the student must demonstrate core social work knowledge and beginning practice competence with a client system and on behalf of such a client system, in the context of programs and organizations delivering social services. The competency model will be the framework for the practicum and the student will be expected to achieve the first level of competence as defined in the practicum manual - that is:
1. to develop and demonstrate her/his professional identity as a social worker in respect to commitment to and the provision of service to people;
2. to develop and demonstrate the ability to function within an organizational context;
3. to develop and demonstrate the ability to function within a community context;
4. to develop and demonstrate the ability to identify, assess, formulate, implement and evaluate strategy on behalf of the user system;
5. to demonstrate beginning effectiveness in communication skills.
The Year I practicum is a generalist practicum. A student has a choice of practicum within a range of settings related to her/his interest. The field practicum provides learning opportunities for students to integrate and apply theory to practice and develop competence in performing social work roles within the framework of social work values. The practicum takes place in a wide range of service settings offering practice learning in all social work modalities. Students have an opportunity to find out about these agencies in mid-October, and have input into decisions about their practicum. Time Requirements:
1. 21 hours per week, three days per week, from January to April;
2. 28 hours per week, four days per week from mid-April to the end of May.
Total Number of days in the Practicum is approximately 69 days. The days listed above are set aside in the student's timetable for the Practicum. However, other days may be used if there is no conflict with classes, and if mutually agreeable to student and instructor and approved by the Faculty/Field Liaison. Students are allowed the regular University holidays and may observe their religious holidays that fall on Practicum days.
SWK 4702Y Social Work Practicum II (CR/NCR)Two credits (Required for All Programs)
The field practicum provides learning opportunities for students to integrate and apply theory to practice and develop competence in performing social work roles within the framework of social work values. The competency model will be the framework for the practicum and the student will be expected to achieve the second level of competence as defined, that is:
1. Function Within the Professional Context: to develop and demonstrate his/her professional identity as a social worker in respect to commitment to and the provision of service to people;
2. Function Within An Organizational Context: to develop and demonstrate the ability to function within an organizational context;
3. Function Within A Community Context: to develop and demonstrate the ability to function within a community context;
4. to develop and demonstrate the ability to identify and assess problems; to plan and carry out intervention; and to evaluate intervention and utilize feedback;
5. to employ effective communication skills relevant to micro and/or mezzo/macro practice.
Note: Social Service Administration students will have a practicum in administration with hours modified to allow for participation in the executive model classes. A detailed description of the practicum is noted under the Children and Families Specialization.
Note: Practicum Requirements for Students in the Gerontology Specialization
1. Students in the Gerontology Specialization who elect a clinical practicum must complete a case study as part of the practicum requirements. Students will use one of the cases assigned in the practicum. Directions for completing this assignment will be discussed with the students and their field supervisors.
2. Students in the Gerontology Specialization may elect to do a thesis and may forego the clinical practicum. Instead they will link their thesis research to research in progress at one of the gerontology practicum agencies. They will complete a Research Practicum by participating in agency research projects in progress. However, thesis students are not required to spend three days a week for two terms at the research practicum agency. Rather the research practicum time is used to develop a research question, collect and analyze data and complete the thesis. It is expected that student thesis research would be based on a question linked to the agency’s research agenda and data.
3. Students in the Gerontology Specialization may elect to do a thesis and complete a clinical practicum as well. In this case they would spend time in a clinical learning situation as well as participate in a research program at the same practicum agency. Their research question and thesis research would be based on the agency’s research programs.
The Faculty contracts with a wide range of service settings to offer practice learning in social work modalities. Students select practica from the Faculty contracted resources available in any given year. This is a full-year course of three days per week throughout the academic year. Practicum settings are arranged by the Practicum Office. In April, students have an opportunity to learn about the agencies offering practicum and make decisions about which agencies they wish to select for practicum interviews. Time Requirements: (1) 21 hours per week, from September to mid-April. Total Number of days in the Practicum is approximately 80 days. The days listed above are those set aside in the student's timetable for the Practicum. However, other days may be used if there is no conflict with classes, and if mutually agreeable to student and instructor and approved by the Faculty/Field Liaison. Students are allowed the regular University holidays and may observe their religious holidays, which fall on Practicum days.
SWK 4803H (SWK 4637H) Special Topics in Health Social Work:
Course title and description will be updated if course is active in a given academic session.
SWK 4639H Special Topics in Child and Family Social Work: Youth, Children and their Civil Law Treatment
This course examines:
- the civil laws that govern children and youth; laws about, for example, child protection placement, adoption, mental health commital, custody, consent to treatment, confidentiality, suspension and expulsion or deportation, or working and wages or "withdrawn from parental control" youth and financial support;
- the underlying assumptions laws make about children and youth and whether those assumptions are valid; and
- the collisions thay may arise when "best interests" decision-making meets up with "rights", and what voice, if any, the youth has, or ought to have in the process affecting her welfare.
Taught by lawyer Jeffery Wilson, the course will aim to give the social work student a primer on the grammar of the civil law affecting children and youth and will raise questions about how to include the voice of the youth in the adult-managed process.
SWK 4640H Special Topics in Mental Health Social Work II:
Course title and description will be updated if course is active in a given academic session.
Prequisite: SWK 4604H Social Work Practice in Mental Health
Students in the Mental Health and Health Specialization can take this course instead of SWK 4622H Social Work Practice in Health to meet specialization requirements.
This course builds on SWK 4604 to examine and develop, at an advanced level, the practice knowledge and skills required to be a social worker within a continuum of mental health care contexts. This course allows students to explore a range of effective clinical interventions for individuals and families living with mental illness. Course content will include examinations of psychosocial assessment, case management, group work, family therapies, psychoeducation, discharge planning, individual psychotherapies, community work and advocacy. All interventions will be further explored in terms of their theoretical foundations, specific procedures, evaluation, evidence base, ethics, cultural competence, interdisciplinary issues and use of the therapeutic alliance.
SWK 4632H – Advanced Social Work Practice in Health
Prequisite: SWK 4622H Social Work Pracctice in Health
Students in the Mental Health and Health Specialization can take this course instead of SWK 4604H Social Work Practice in Mental Health to meet specialization requirements.
Health issues are complex, multifaceted, and have the potential to directly affect quality of life and well-being. This course builds on SWK 4622 to examine and develop, at an advanced level, the practice knowledge and skills required to be a social worker within a continuum of health care contexts. Working collaboratively with interprofessional teams, social workers require a range of assessment, counselling, negotiation and co-ordination skills to assist individuals and their extended network to successfully adapt to the challenges presented by treatment and/or longer term health and functional changes. Additionally, social workers contribute at a program and organizational level by situating patient needs and health services in the context of the broader social determinants of health.
Prerequisite: SWK4608H Social Work Practice with Families or an equivalent introductory family therapy course or consent of instructor.
This practice course builds on SWK4608H and is designed to deepen and expand at an advanced level clinical knowledge and competence in work with families of children and adolescents in multiple contexts across service systems. The course will be highly interactive and seminar style with the focus on applied learning in preparing evidence informed contextually and culturally responsive family assessment and treatment plans and enhancing clinical skills and self efficacy. We will examine therapeutic processes and specific strategies for optimizing change both within and across different ecological parenting and family therapy models (e.g., functional family therapy, multisystemic therapy, attachment based family therapy, multidimensional therapy, brief strategic therapy, collaborative cognitive behavioral models, psychoeducation and integrative narrative models). The course will provide an opportunity to apply systemic thinking to diverse problems and populations of at-risk youth and families and allow students to explore a range of effective family centered intervention or prevention models for diverse issues (e.g., adolescent depression, child or youth anxiety, externalizing disorders, child and/or parent trauma, parent depression). Students will strengthen their ability to use evidence in clinical decision-making in nuanced ways in real world complex cases and be supported to integrate class learning with social work values, knowledge and skills into a framework for one's own professional model of practice.
SWK 4636H Special Topics in Mental Health Social Work:
Course title and description will be updated if course is active in a given academic session.
SWK 4636H Special Topics in Mental Health Social Work: Mindfulness Therapy and Social Work Practice
Mindfulness Therapy is an elective course focusing on the use of mindfulness as an essential component of any approach to clinical work, as a specific skill used in therapy, and as a quality of competent clinicians. This course provides a framework for the fundamental uses of mindfulness as a professional and therapeutic method in social work. Mindfulness can be defined as the intentional and nonjudgmental act of bringing one’s attention and awareness to the present moment. Mindfulness skills have emerged as an important component of several empirically validated treatments in the biomedical and mental health fields. These include mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), prevention of relapse for severe depression (MBCT), treatment of borderline personality disorder (DBT), pain management, and various approaches for treating anxiety, eating disorders and trauma. Students taking this course will be required to develop or continue their own mindfulness practice
Gerontological social work counseling draws on many different theoretical perspectives. Using a life course perspective, this course will provide an overview of the theoretical underpinnings of five counseling strategies: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Reminiscence Therapy, Brief Solution Focused Therapy, Multi-generational Family Therapy and Therapeutic Group Work. The course will address the theories and approaches of these models to meet the unique needs of older adults. Students will learn creative solutions and problem solving to adapt these techniques to older adults dealing with cognitive impairments, age-related physical illness (e.g. arthritis, stroke) and mental health problems (e.g. anxiety, depression), grief and loss, later life transitions (e.g. retirement, relocation, social isolation), caregiver burden and ageism. The course will emphasize practice solution through weekly role playing, case presentations and the development of intervention strategies.
This course focuses on increasing the knowledge, competence, and skills to work effectively with children and adolescents with mental health issues from both a prevention and treatment perspective.
It is designed to: (1) increase knowledge of the most common child and youth mental health disorders, including theory and research on prevalence, etiology, developmental course and diagnosis; and (2) facilitate the development of knowledge and skills in assessment and case formulation, and in the delivery of culturally and contextually responsive effective intervention to children and their families.
Students will enhance their ability to use clinical decision-making with real world complex cases.
This course will demonstrate how contemporary psychodynamic theories and concepts can enrich modern clinical social work practice. The contemporary emphasis on relatedness, attachment, development, resilience, the self, empathy, and intersubjectivity are consistent with and deepen core social work constructs such as the person and the environment, strengths, the importance of the relationship, and the use of self.
This course will provide an overview of core ego psychological, self-psychological, object relational, and mentalization constructs, and will apply these ideas to current challenging clinical issues. Topics addressed will include trauma, affect regulation, impulse control, coping mechanisms, self-esteem, intimacy, identity, racism, anger, self-harm, loss, guilt, sexuality, and the body. The difficulties that social workers typically face in managing and understanding their own reactions and feelings about their clients, such as sadness, anger, fear, and concern, and their client’s powerful reactions to the clinician will be examined, utilizing current knowledge about the treatment alliance, and transference and countertransference.
Treatment impasses and ruptures will be explored. The use of listening, unconscious processes, and interventions will be demonstrated to highlight how understanding and utilizing these processes can facilitate the achievement of treatment goals, and contribute to greater client self-determination, self-awareness and self-efficacy. The interplay of internal psychological processes, biology, neuro-developmental processes, and social-contextual factors, including diversity, class, ethnicity, culture, gender, age, sexual orientation, and race will be addressed throughout the course.
The recent contributions of neuroscience and their relationship to psychoanalytic theory and treatment, and social work practice will also be addressed.
Advances in fields such as neuroscience and allied fields have provided some important new evidence about how we think, feel, learn and change. Applegate and Shapiro (Applegate and Shapiro, 2005) remark that although social work has embraced a biopsychosocial perspective, that the biological side of this tripartite stance is frequently underdeveloped in social work. They argue that the advances in neurosciences and neurobiology need to be introduced into our professional curricula. Farmer (2009) identifies neuroscience as a “missing link” for social work. Social work graduates at the Masters level need to have a good foundation of knowledge about the brain-body and its interconnections. Besides being fundamental knowledge for all social work practice, expertise in this area will foster improved inter-professional communication particularly with those professions in health related areas. This course will appeal especially to students interested in direct practice. No background in the biological sciences is necessary.
Content will include: developing the bio side of the biopsychosocial perspective of social work practice; fundamentals of the brain; the brain-body connection; the social brain; thinking, feeling and acting; memory; emotion as the foundation of reason; the helping relationship from a neuroscience perspective; neuroplasticity; ethics and social justice from a neuroscience perspective; consciousness and the new unconscious; gender and the brain; the profound impact of environment and culture on the brain and human functioning; brain-based learning and social work practice; the neuroscience of psychotherapy, neuropsychotherapy, and interpersonal neurobiology; bonding and attachment; empathy and mirror neurons; a neurodevelopmental view of childhood, and adolescence; trauma and PTSD; aging and neuroscience; neuroscience and addictions, mental health and affect regulation; neural integration; limitations of a neuroscience perspective; new frontiers for neuroscience and social work practice. Hypnosis will be explored and all students will learn how to develop and practice self-hypnosis.
Offered from Summer 2010
Mindfulness Therapy is an elective course focusing on the use of mindfulness as an essential component of any approach to clinical work, as a specific skill used in therapy, and as a quality of competent clinicians. This course provides a framework for the fundamental uses of mindfulness as a professional and therapeutic method in social work. Mindfulness can be defined as the intentional and nonjudgmental act of bringing one’s attention and awareness to the present moment. Mindfulness skills have emerged as an important component of several empirically validated treatments in the biomedical and mental health fields. These include mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), prevention of relapse for severe depression (MBCT), treatment of borderline personality disorder (DBT), pain management, and various approaches for treating anxiety, eating disorders and trauma. Students taking this course will be required to develop or continue their own mindfulness practice.
SWK 6005H Theoretical Foundations of Social Work(Ph.D. level course open to M.S.W. students with permission of the instructor)
In keeping with the Carnegie Foundation initiative in doctoral studies, this Ph.D. level course offers a means of stepping back and reflecting upon our discipline, past and present.
This course will engage with the questions of why history and what history? History of the present or ‘counter-memory’. Taking from Foucault, notions of problematisation and the creation of ‘events’, we will examine rupture, shifts and continuities (including unexpected) in various fields of social work practice and policy, and with various population groups.
Students’ assignment will consist in the development of such an ‘archive’. An archive is a set of documents and is a ‘space’ –materially and conceptually. Documentary materials will include texts of all sorts (biographies, agency reports,…), and also visual documents (e.g., photographs). Types of analysis: textual analysis, including discourse analysis and visual methodologies.
The course is offered primarily to doctoral students at the Faculty of Social Work. A limited number of doctoral students from other disciplines, and masters’ students in social work doing related research, may be able to join the class. The course will be offered in July-August 2009, twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting the first week of July until August 13. We will decide on either a morning time or an afternoon time based on participants’ availability.
SWK 6006H Theory and Practice of Teaching Social Work
The quality of social work practice is heavily dependent upon the quality of social work education. Therefore it is important to prepare future social work teachers with the knowledge and competencies associated with excellence as a professional educator in an academic institution. Social work doctoral programs aim to produce scholars/educators who will develop and disseminate knowledge for social welfare and social work. In preparing the future leadership for the profession, doctoral programs have the responsibility to prepare students for research and the advancement of new knowledge, and for teaching. Increasingly, new faculty are expected to provide evidence of effective teaching experience, and teaching performance is evaluated in tenure and promotion decisions.
This course is offered for doctoral students who intend to pursue a career in teaching at the community college or university level. The goal is to prepare students to function as effective social work educators by providing knowledge and skills for teaching social work. The focus will be on the integration of theory, research and practice in social work education. Specific goals are:
- to introduce students to the structure and scope of social work education;
- to provide conceptual frameworks and practices for effective and competent teaching, drawing on the contributions of social work and educational theory and research;
- to prepare students for curriculum development and teaching responsibilities in academic roles;
- to begin to develop and articulate an educational philosophy as a social work educator.
SWK 6101H Critical Evaluation of Social Work Theory. Advanced Clinical Concepts: Theory, Research and Practice
(Ph.D. level course open to M.S.W. students with permission of the instructor)
This is an advanced clinical course on social work practice and theory. The purpose of the course is to integrate and examine theory, research and practice wisdom. Instructor and student case examples will be used to illustrate issues and concepts and to foster discussion. The course will enhance students’ theoretical and clinical knowledge and will foster Ph.D. students’ ability to teach clinical theory to B.S.W. and M.S.W. students.
A number of significant clinical concepts will be examined. These include but are not exclusive to: relationship; motivation; hope; shame; transference and counter transference; ethics/boundaries (e.g., disclosure, contact, gifts); the change process including identifying the work; silence and space (what it means, kinds of silence); therapeutic action; containment and holding.
We will examine these concepts through theory, research and practice wisdom and will apply these concepts to individual, family and group modalities. This will entail investigating how various theoretical frameworks and practice models utilize or understand the concept (historically and current), as well as the implications. Additionally, implications of the prominence or absence of the concept will be examined.
The course is open to all Ph.D. students and M.S.W. students who have instructor consent.
The course content assumes that participants have taken at least one policy course at the graduate level. It is anticipated that some seminar members will have done significant amounts of policy analysis in their careers. It is expected that all have a keen interest in a specific policy area that is part of their doctoral research agenda. The content and organization of the seminar is based on these assumptions.
The seminar will focus on current social policy dilemmas facing countries such as Canada. All have normative aspects (for instance, an emphasis on rights versus social benefits), while debates are framed within local, national and international discourses which often seem to be competing and disjointed. How these dilemmas are resolved will greatly affect those groups whom social workers serve. The course has been divided into three segments.
The first part will focus on assessing the frameworks behind several models of social policy and the theories that inform them. These include: the Policy Stages model (probably most familiar); Institutional Rational Choice; Multiple Streams Framework; Punctuated Equilibrium model; Advocacy Coalition model; Policy Diffusion Model. Models vary in their foci e.g., some are concerned with short-term policy effects, others focus on long-term changes, several are concerned with issues of making valid comparisons across countries.
The second segment will consider issues that affect the policy climate nationally and internationally. For instance:
- Globalization and its impact in different social policy areas;
- Modern governance and the relationship between citizens, state and business;
- The current concern with issues of social exclusion, social cohesion and social capital;
- The balance between responsibilities and rights in changing claims of citizenship;
- Difference and its relationship to the idea of universalism;
- The New Economy, e.g., information technology and knowledge based economies;
- Security concerns and their effects on social policy in the post 9/11 environment.
The third part of the course is the debate arising from the oral presentations which are the first part of the assignment. The assignment will be two-fold. The first part is an oral "Briefing of the Minister" approach wherein students lay out the relevant issues in specified areas using no more than five slides. The final assignment is a policy analysis paper, directed to a suitable journal, which takes up the policy issue addressed in briefing notes and makes recommendations. It is expected that this manuscript will actually be submitted after the course.
SWK 6301H Intermediate Statistics and Data Analysis
This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to understand, interpret and apply methods of quantitative analysis to social work research topics. Several major multivariate statistical techniques will be presented including two ways ANOVAs (analysis of variance), multiple regression and logistic regression. This course has two major goals: that students be able to critically examine the contextual appropriateness of statistical techniques used in the literature; and that students can correctly identify for further study the most suitable statistical technique for their own research. Students will become competent users of multivariate techniques in the SPSS computer software program through weekly hands-on assignments applying the major statistical techniques to a secondary data set. Please note that further, more traditional, statistics course will be necessary for those using complex multivariate techniques in their dissertation analysis. Students will be required to have passed a competency exam or SWK 4506 as a prerequisite for this course.
SWK 6302H Epistemology and Social Work Research
This course is about the theory of knowledge, that is, epistemology. Epistemologists are typically concerned with questions about the nature, origin and limits of human knowledge. This course will examine the epistemology of social research and its influence on the social work knowledge-building enterprise. The three major paradigms that have guided inquiry in social work - the positivist, interpretative and critical approaches will be examined in terms of the major theories representing these paradigms and selected methods of inquiry. Epistemological issues, reflected in the debates about the nature, scope and "truth" value of social work research will be evaluated. Current challenges to the established paradigms, namely feminism, ethnic studies and post modernism, will be considered in light of their contributions to the debates. A critical thinking approach to learning will be encouraged.
This session of the course will focus on the philosophical underpinnings, techniques and practices that inform interpretive research design and methods in the social and health sciences. Interpretive research—conceptually distinct from the more ubiquitous term ‘qualitative’—signals an attention to the philosophical presuppositions that guide the production of knowledge and meaning making.
Traditions in interpretive methodology are vast and diverse. In this course, we will focus on ethnography, interpretive policy analysis, action research, and different forms of discourse analysis (we may explore other methodologies depending on student interest and as time permits). In addition to addressing philosophical foundations, we will discuss and practice common strategies to access and collect data (e.g. observation, interviewing, finding existing documents), methods of organizing and representing different forms/genres of data for analysis (e.g. transcripts, electronic texts, hand-written notes); and strategies to analyze and represent your analyses for different audiences.
This advanced graduate course seeks to support social work doctoral students and graduate students in related disciplines to develop appropriate research designs and research proposals for either their comprehensive paper or their doctoral dissertation research. Prior graduate course work in qualitative methods required. Prior course work in epistemology or the philosophy of science is strongly recommended. The is intended as a doctoral level course. Masters level students must seek instructor permission.
SWK 6307H Advanced Qualitative Thesis Seminar (M.S.W.)
(Note: Offered only to students who have been approved to prepare a M.S.W. thesis incorporating qualitative research methods)
Building on students' previous knowledge of the principles and practice of qualitative research, this course will provide an advanced grounding in qualitative research methods and design. It will cover elements of epistemology, research design, proposal writing and ethics review designed to move students' thesis projects forward. While the focus will be on phenomenology, grounded theory and ethnography, other traditions of inquiry may be accommodated according to student's interests. This is a credit/no credit course.
This course is an introductory course to qualitative research, and is mandatory for first year Ph.D. students in Social Work. The course will introduce some core issues in conducting qualitative research, with a focus on grounded theory approaches. Elements of community-based, participatory action research (CBR/CBPR), arts-based research and indigenous research approaches will also be interwoven into the curriculum. Pros and cons of each methodology are considered, and basic techniques of data collection and analysis introduced, including interviews, observation, and coding. Selected other topics may include epistemological issues, researcher positionality, ethics, trustworthiness, use of computer programs (NVivo), and working with community members/advisory boards.
SWK 6502H – Special Studies: Advanced Statistics
This course is designed for graduate students in social work and other disciplines who do not specialize in statistics but who need a significant familiarity with the most commonly used statistical techniques. The course will provide students with the opportunity to understand and apply major statistical techniques in social work research. The course has two major goals: (1) that students can correctly identify and apply the most suitable technique for their own research and (2) that students become capable of critically examining the appropriateness of statistical techniques used in the literature. Emphasis will be placed on the understanding of the assumptions of each statistical procedure, applying the procedure and interpreting computer outputs and not on the mathematical derivations of the formulas. Students will become competent users of SPSS computer software through hands on assignment applying the major statistical techniques to different data sets.
Several basic statistical techniques will be presented including: (1) Survival analysis, (2) Factor analysis and (3) Meta analysis. The software package SPSS will be used to apply the above methods on small-to-medium size data files. A brief overview of the following topics will be presented: (1) Reliability and validity of measurements, (2) Structural equation modeling and (3) Multi-level modeling. Students will have the opportunity to select two more topics for discussion.
Pre-requisites: SWK6301 (Intermediate Statistics), or equivalent.
SWK 6503H Special Studies III: Decision Making in Child Welfare: Theoretical Frameworks and Applied Quantitative Research Methods
– guest lecturer John Fluke, PhD
Offered Summer 2013 as a 1-week intensive
This course will address theories, empirical literature, research, and practice in the area of child welfare decision making. Research specific to child welfare research topics include approaches and analytic techniques that support decision making research and topics such as study design, data construction techniques, receiver operator characteristics analysis, structural equation modelling, and multi-level modelling.
Dr. Fluke is also known for his innovative and informative evaluation work in the areas of child welfare administrative data analysis, workload and costing, and performance and outcome measurement for children and family services. As a research manager, he has directed research and evaluation projects focused on maltreatment surveillance data, children’s mental health, child protective service risk and safety assessment, expedited permanency, guardianship, family group decision-making, trauma services, adoption and screening. He also conducts national child maltreatment data collection and analysis, and has worked with data collection programs in Canada, Saudi Arabia and the U.S., as well as for UNICEF.
SWK 7000H Doctoral Thesis Seminar
Ph.D. Orientation Seminar
This seminar provides an opportunity for incoming students to orient themselves to the Ph.D. program. The seminar is organized as a series of informal presentations and discussions, where participants have an opportunity to ask other doctoral students and faculty about their research, available resources, networks and procedures.
AGE 1000H Multidisciplinary Research Concepts in Palliative and Supportive CareThis half-course is the core masters level course in the second option of study in palliative and supportive care. It will offer students a broad, interdisciplinary approach to current issues in Palliative and Supportive Care, by allowing students from a wide range of disciplines and departments (e.g., Palliative Medicine, Psychiatry, Social Work, Nursing, Philosophy, Law, Religious Studies, Health Policy Management and Evaluation, Information, Pharmacy, Psychology, Rehabilitation Science, Public Health Sciences, Sociology, etc.) an opportunity to explore, understand and apply diverse concepts relevant to palliative and supportive care. Each seminar will consist of a presentation by a faculty member, followed by a discussion. The seminars will take place for a full semester on a bi-weekly basis and will be complemented by weekly seminar reading assignments, 3 short essays, and a 10-page essay at semester’s end exploring one of the seminar topics in further detail.
AGE 1250H Relational Practices with Families in Oncology and Palliative CareThis is the second psychosocial oncology course offered through the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) IPODE* project. It provides graduate students in 5 disciplines (medicine, nursing, psychology, social work and spiritual care) with an opportunity to explore the interprofessional care of families experiencing cancer along the illness trajectory from diagnosis through to bereavement or long term survivorship. Students from other disciplines also may be interested and are welcome. Using case based learning in small interprofessional groups, students will explore a variety of key learning themes relevant to the interprofessional care of families. Themes that will be addressed include: family theory, models of family and couple counseling/therapy, family assessment, therapeutic conversations and interventions. Case examples will be drawn from the experience of families across the cancer illness trajectory, from diagnosis through to death and dying, bereavement and long term survivorship. Small group work will allow students to develop a rich understanding of the cancer experience from the perspective of families, as well as competency in family assessment, intervention, interprofessional collaboration, and cultural safety. Attention to diversity will be integrated throughout the course.
*IPOPE is the Interprofessional Psychosocial Oncology Distance Education project (http://www.ipode.ca/)
AGE 2000H Principles of Aging(Required course for Collaborative Program in Aging and the Life Course)
The seminar is the core course for Masters students enrolled in the Collaborative Program on Aging and the Life Course, and is also open to other graduate students on application to the instructor. The course aims to familiarize students with the major theoretical ideas and significant facts about the social and social psychological aspects of aging. The former include the socioeconomic status of the aged in Canada, their family relationships, work and retirement patterns, and needs for social and health services. The objective is to provide general analytic tools for understanding the social context of the aging individual and the implications for society of population aging. The social psychological aspects of aging examined in the course focus on age-related changes in the individual’s reaction to and interaction with others, as related to self-concept and other psychological and social variables. The emphasis is on the development of critical and comprehensive knowledge of theory in social gerontology and the life course.
AGE 2500H Current Research Topics in Aging and the Life Course
This course examines the interface between health and aging. It examines a range of issues that affect the health of older adults. The focus of this course is on the development of a multidimensional understanding of the factors that affect older adults as they age. A widespread view of aging in Canadian society is one of dependency, disability and decline. However, older adults are living longer, healthier lives. How can health be maximized in old age? What public policies are required to support healthy aging? What are the determinants of health of the aging population? How do social and cultural factors affect the health of older adults? What strategies are available to promote and enhance a healthy aging population? These are examples of questions that this course will address.
ASI 1000Y Issues in Asia-Pacific Studies
The core seminar in Asia-Pacific Studies examines the dynamics of transformation in the Asia-Pacific in relation to a number of theoretical debates in history and the social sciences. The seminar is required of graduate students in the Collaborate Master's Program in Asia-Pacific Studies.
Click here for the Fall 2012 syllabus.(Required course for Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies) This course provides an overview of issues related to the determinants and consequences of alcohol, tobacco and other psychoactive substance use along with a summary of strategies concerned with the prevention and treatment of addiction problems. Guest presentations by authorities in various disciplines.
JFS 1460H: Community-based Natural Resource Management Systems (Communities, Sustainable Development and Natural Resources)
JPW 2118H Philosophical Foundations of Women's Studies(Required course for Collaborative Program in Women’s Studies)
This course will focus on philosophical questions raised by interdisciplinary scholarship in women's studies and the use of feminist methodologies in particular disciplines. This course is intended to examine critically central philosophical questions raised by interdisciplinary scholarship in Women's Studies, Critical Gender Studies and by the use of feminist methodologies in particular disciplines. Questions such as the following will be explored:
1. What, if any, is the theoretical basis for the distinctions between women-centred, non-sexist and feminist research?
2. How do Women's Studies scholarship and research generate new paradigms of knowledge and subjectivity?
3. How does Women's Studies scholarship critically relate to dominant discipline paradigms in humanities, social sciences, physical sciences and behavioural sciences?
JPX 1001H Parenting: Multidisciplinary Perspectives(Offered in the Winter 2014 Session - Tuesdays 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.)
This course, offered jointly by the Departments of Social Work, Education, Psychiatry, Psychology and Nursing, is designed to introduce participants to a multidisciplinary range of approaches to the understanding of parenting. Levels of analysis extend from the psychology of parenting to the societal context. Research, theory and professional practice are sampled in a number of disciplines. The course is team-taught by faculty members from the participating departments, one of whom will be designated as course coordinator each year. In order to facilitate continuity and comparison across different disciplines, topics and instructors, the course is organized around key themes. In addition to the multidisciplinary teaching, diversity is ensured by the rich and varied backgrounds of the students. Throughout the seminar discussions, students are encouraged to synthesize their academic and work/practice experience.
JSL 4423H Wife Abuse: Assessing the Interventions of Social Work and Law
(Approved elective course for Collaborative Program in Women’s Studies)
This course will begin by critically evaluating the literature on the incidence, distribution and causes of wife abuse. Central to the evaluation of this literature will be feminist critiques of the category women and the homogeneity of experience implied by its use, and the more specific critiques of much of the wife abuse literature which have been voiced by women of colour, lesbians and immigrant women. We will then consider several specific issues relating to practice with women who experience abuse in their intimate relationships. These will likely include a critical examination of the medicalization of woman abuse and the role of programs for batterers; of ethical dilemmas (duties to warn, duties to contact child welfare authorities); of record-keeping and the use of records by defence lawyers; and of the efficacy of criminalization strategies.
JTH 3000H Coordinating Seminar in Ethnic and Pluralism Studies(Required course for Collaborative Program in Ethnic and Pluralism Studies)
This course provides theoretic and methodological tools for the interdisciplinary study of ethnic and race relations, and illustrates their application to specific institutional sectors of society. The first half of the course presents a review of basic theory and methods for addressing five key topics: ethnic groups and their demography, ethnic status and racism, ethnic communities and the incorporation of ethnic groups and race relations within selected institutional settings, and emphasizes the use of research from diverse disciplines in understanding theoretical and policy issues arising in each. The specific institutional settings selected for emphasis may include: employment relations and the workplace, social and medical service delivery, policing and the administration of justice, and citizenship and immigration policy. The focus will be on ethnic and race relations in Canada, and where possible, comparisons will be made with other advanced industrial societies including the United States, Europe and Australia.
UCS 1000H Community Development: Theory and Practice
This graduate seminar provides an overview of the theory and practice of the field, including a historical review, an examination of contemporary issues and debates and methodological considerations. Participants in the course will draw significant insights for community development practice from the various theoretical positions on the nature of society, social change and social mobilization. The course explores the various models of community development in relation to their goals, processes and outcomes. It incorporates contributions from the five graduate units participating in the CD collaborative program: Adult Education and Community Development; Counselling Psychology; Program in Planning, Public Health Sciences; and the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.
The objectives of the course are:
- to develop an appreciation of community development both as a change process and as an interdisciplinary field;
- to provide a broad understanding of the scope and range of activities in community development in Canada and internationally;
- to develop an understanding of the main traditions, theoretical debates, successful experiences, and research findings in community development;
- to develop an understanding of the basic skills needed to work with diverse communities;
- to introduce students to the research and scholarship on community development undertaken by faculty and students in the five collaborating units.