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Social Work Elective Courses

The department offers several social work electives that focus upon working with a specific population or field of practice. Each student is required to take a minimum of two electives prior to graduation. Students, in consultation with their advisor, select elective courses to support a career interest or sample courses from across disciplines with their advisor's guidance and department approval. One of these two electives may be taken in a discipline other than social work, provided the course is a 300 or 400 level course and it is supportive of social work practice. There are some 200 level course exceptions. Currently the Department offers the following electives as selected topics (SOCWK 370):

Child Abuse and Neglect I

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to child abuse and neglect from psychological, social, cultural, legal, and economic perspectives. Social workers in all professional work settings must know how to identify child maltreatment and family violence. Students must also be able to practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to the clients' age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Students will learn the family dynamics and indicators of maltreatment and effective interventions at the micro, mezzo, and macro level, with an emphasis on strengths based, family-centered intervention strategies. Additionally, students will learn the extent of reported maltreatment of children, effects on children, treatment issues, the social worker's role in a multidisciplinary team approach, how to advocate for individuals and families, and will be introduced to the concept of personal accountability for outcomes. This course will also introduce to students the values and ethics of the social work profession in the child welfare arena, specifically the right of children to appropriate care, to be free of abuse and neglect, and to grow up in a safe environment.

This course is available as an elective but is also the first of two specific course requirements for the Indiana Child Services Education Program available through public universities in Indiana. These two courses include components of the Core Training curriculum for all new employees of the Department of Child Services.

Child Abuse and Neglect II

The overall purpose of this capstone course is to acquaint the student with a specific field of social work practice in increased depth, to provide further opportunity for synthesis of student learning which has already occurred in previous courses, and to integrate social welfare policies and policy analysis with social work practice.

This course focuses on the integration of knowledge and practice skills specific to child abuse and neglect, and family violence. Skills will be developed that will allow students to practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge and skills related to the clients' age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation. Students will learn interviewing and assessment skills, case planning and decision making, guidelines for court involvement, as well as cultural considerations in child-rearing practices and communication/gender issues. Assessing families at risk of abuse and neglect is emphasized and the major policy issues are explored. Strengths based and family-centered perspectives will be used to look at interventions and services that promote family preservation, reunification and permanency for children. The principals of best practices in child welfare practice will be explored and will include the assumption that parents have the primary responsibility for the care and safety of their children and that children are best served by growing up in their own homes when these families are able to provide safe, nurturing and stable homes.

This course is available as an elective but is also the second of two specific course requirements for the Indiana Child Services Education Program available through public universities in Indiana. These two courses include components of the Core Training curriculum for all new employees of the Department of Child Services.

Social Work Practice with Older Adults

Social Work Practice with Older Adults focuses on the knowledge, values and skills needed to effectively provide services to older adults and their families. Policy and practice issues unique to older adults are highlighted as are the roles and functions of social workers working in agency and practice settings serving this population. Students explore their own beliefs and attitudes regarding older adults and the aging process itself to prepare them to work effectively in geriatric specific and other practice settings that service older adults. Course content on the complex interaction of social and cultural factors such as class, color, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, gender identity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation is presented with a special emphasis upon social and economic justice issues related to older adults.

Social Work Practice in Health Care

This course focuses on the development of social work practice skills relevant to health care settings. An examination of policies, programs, and service delivery systems relevant to health care practice and to client systems is explored. Special emphasis is placed upon the assessment of the impact of illness, disability, treatment, and hospitalization on client systems, interdisciplinary health care practice, and ethical issues. This course also aims to help students understand the ever-changing organizational structure of today's health care field and to strengthen students' ability to understand their professional role(s) as social workers within health care settings. Inequalities in health status and access to health care are considered, as well as, roles played by social workers in addressing the health problems of vulnerable populations are explored.
Department of Social Work
North Quad (NQ), room 243
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
Phone: 765-285-1016
Fax: 765-285-1029
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