Social Work

Code Course Description
SOWK 1100

Introduction to Social Work Practice

This course provides an overview of the history, philosophy and theories of the social work profession in Canada. The role of social workers in contemporary society is examined from social justice and client self-determination perspectives. Social structures that influence peoples’ lives, including wealth distribution, gender inequities, and prejudice, are explored as sources of oppression and marginalization in Canadian society. The relationship between personal problems and social context is examined. Multiple contexts and settings for the practice of social work are considered.

SOWK 1200

Introduction to Social Welfare

This course introduces students to the development of social welfare policy in Canada. Social and human rights reactions to social problems in general will be examined, as well as poverty and economic disadvantage in particular. The role of the social worker to influence policy development and help change the social structures that exist currently will be explored. Methods of forming social policy at the legislative and grassroots level will be considered. The intersection of personal, professional, and societal values will be examined related to larger issues of power, oppression, and the inclusion or exclusion of different members of society. During the course, students will be provided with opportunities to work on various policy issues to examine their impact on service delivery and the wellbeing of clients. The relationship between the profession of social work, political perspectives on society, and public opinion will be discussed as well.

SOWK 2100

Introduction to Social Work Practice

This course provides an overview of the history, philosophy and theories of the social work profession in Canada. The role of social workers in contemporary society is examined from social justice and client self-determination perspectives. Social structures that influence people's lives, including wealth distribution, gender inequities, and prejudice, are explored as sources of oppression and marginalization in Canadian society. The relationship between personal problems and social context is examined. Multiple contexts and settings for the practice of social work are considered.

SOWK 2122

Counselling Theory and Practice I

This methods course introduces students to the foundation skills of interviewing and counselling. It emphasizes the importance of versatility in working with individuals in social work settings. Students will explore and apply interviewing and counselling skills for information gathering, relationship development, goal setting, and problem solving. Using a strengths approach, students will reflect on their interactions with others and explore ways to promote self-determination and empowerment. Self-awareness will be emphasized as a critical prerequisite for effective practice.

SOWK 2200

Introduction to Social Welfare

This course introduces students to the development of social welfare policy in Canada. Social and human rights reactions to social problems in general will be examined, as well as poverty and economic disadvantage in particular. The role of the social worker to influence policy development and help change the social structures that exist currently will be explored. Methods of forming social policy at the legislative and grassroots level will be considered. The intersection of personal, professional, and societal values will be examined related to larger issues of power, oppression, and the inclusion or exclusion of different members of society. During the course, students will be provided with opportunities to work on various policy issues to examine their impact on service delivery and the wellbeing of clients. The relationship between the profession of social work, political perspectives on society, and public opinion will be discussed as well.

SOWK 2333

Family Systems Social Work

In this course students examine families from a systems perspective. Starting with students’ own family, participants are offered tools to use in understanding and reflecting on their own family experience and its impact on professional practice. The concepts of family strengths, diversity, natural support networks, community, social context and culture are examined. Emphasis is placed on the collaborative and supportive roles that social workers have with families.

SOWK 2360

Substance Misuse

Students will study several approaches to work with people with addictions and people with co-occurring disorders. Topics will include an overview of the social costs of addiction, psychopharmacology, and the impact of substance misuse/ addiction on the brain and behavior. Students will examine different theoretical models that help to explain substance misuse and addiction at the individual, family, and community level. Prevention strategies and treatment models for addictions including harm reduction and medical models are examined. Counseling models consistent with the theoretical approach of this course, including motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioural therapy, and family based approaches are reviewed. The curriculum focus includes a strengths based approach to the treatment of addictions. Intersecting issues of gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, and age are explored.

SOWK 2362

Social Work with Seniors

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of practice and policy issues in gerontology from a social work perspective. The emphasis is on the role of social workers in assisting older adults and/or their families in home, community, or residential care settings. Issues to be explored include the bio psychosocial components of aging, housing challenges, social supports, and legal considerations related to end of life care and representation agreements. Healthcare legislation from different levels of government and funding challenges will be explored as well. Students in the course will learn more about mental health, addictions, and the abuse/neglect of seniors. Students will learn more about the impact of poverty on seniors, inclusive practices with clients, and working from a strength based vs. a deficit approach. Working with seniors from a multicultural perspective and from different socioeconomic groups will be examined as well.

SOWK 2363

Social Work Practice: Mental Health

This course introduces students to the fundamental information and skills necessary for the practice of social work in the field of mental health with a focus on illness recovery as a real and probable outcome. Students will be given an opportunity to review, discuss, and understand historical, contemporary, and emergent perspectives of mental illness etiology, treatment and support. Provincial mental health legislation, ethical and cultural issues and other relevant mental health and social work practice issues will be explored. Current models for the classification and treatment of illness from a medical and social work perspective will be addressed.

SOWK 2400

Metropolitan Social Work Practice

This course provides an overview of the knowledge and skills necessary for social work practice in a diverse metropolitan area such as the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Students will examine a range of issues and services across a wide spectrum of human geographic needs including housing, integration and belonging, safety and security, employment, transportation, recreation, food security, and health. Students will examine the unique needs of clients in a variety of neighbourhoods such as the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, and the urban core of other cities such as Surrey and New Westminster. This course includes a focus on poverty, marginalized people, and the social determinants of health.

SOWK 2422

Social Work Practice with Groups and Communities

Students will acquire knowledge of the theoretical foundations and practice skills for working with a wide range of groups and communities in social work practice. Students will explore group dynamics and gain skills that will enable them to be effective leaders and participants in groups. Models that promote empowerment, mutual aid, and self-awareness will be explored. Students will have the opportunity to explore and apply the skills of group design, participation, intercultural skills, and facilitation. Strategies for identifying and overcoming obstacles that commonly arise in groups will be examined.

SOWK 3100

Theories and Perspectives for Social Work Practice

The course provides the student with an overview of essential traditional, contemporary and emergent theories, models and perspectives relevant to generalist social work practice. Students will examine those important to social work practice such as developmental, biopsychosocial, psychodynamic, relational, systems, anti-oppressive, feminist, social justice, social constructivism, and structural. Students will explore the application of theories, models and perspectives to practice and develop a guiding framework for their own practice

SOWK 3122

Counselling Theory and Practice II

This course offers students the opportunity to explore best-practice approaches for counselling individuals. Designed to complement and further develop the concepts of SOWK 2122, this course focuses on current evidence based-best practice approaches such as cognitive behavioural counselling, brief counselling, crisis intervention, mediation and motivational interviewing for dealing with a variety of practice challenges. The course will enable social work students to increase their skill versatility when responding to the individual, systemic, diversity, cultural, and spiritual difference of clients.

SOWK 3140

Practicum I

In this course students will undertake assigned social work roles and tasks within a social service organization under professional supervision. In these field activities students will practice and demonstrate their ability to integrate social work skills, ethics, values, theory, and research in their work with clients, colleagues and the broader community. Students will report and reflect on their field experiences with faculty and peers throughout the semester in small group seminars and within individual assignments. Students learn about a range of social work field settings through their participation in seminar.
This course is linked to SOWK 3240 (Practicum II) and students will maintain their placement and seminar group throughout both courses.

SOWK 3233

Child Welfare Social Work

This course provides an overview of the historical, social, philosophical and political foundations of Canadian child welfare social work. Students will explore the knowledge and skills required to provide effective interventions to families and children. Child protection legislation and policy will be examined, as well as the impact of factors such as gender, class, disability, ethnicity and culture on child welfare issues in society today.

SOWK 3240

Practicum II

In this course students will undertake assigned social work roles and tasks within a social service organization under professional supervision. In these field activities students will practice and demonstrate their ability to integrate social work skills, ethics, values, theory, and research in their work with clients, colleagues and the broader community. Students will report and reflect on their field experiences with faculty and peers throughout the semester in small group seminars and within individual assignments. Students learn about a range of social work field settings through their participation in seminar.
This course follows SOWK 3140 (Practicum I) and students will maintain their placement and seminar group throughout both courses.

SOWK 3250

Social Work with Indigenous People

This course will provide opportunities for social work students to develop their competence and understanding for working collaboratively with Indigenous people. Students will explore Indigenous approaches to healing, wellness and social work. An important theme of the course will be to understand Indigenous worldviews and experiences in the context of the historical and continuing impact of oppression and colonialism.

SOWK 3260

Child Welfare Social Work

This course provides an overview of the historical, social, philosophical and political foundations of Canadian child welfare social work. Students will explore the knowledge and skills required to provide effective interventions to families and children. Child protection legislation and policy will be examined, as well as the impact of factors such as gender, class, disability, ethnicity and culture on child welfare issues in society today.

SOWK 4100

Social Work Between Systems

This course will assist students to work with communities to negotiate with and mobilize people to address problems that are of common concern, overcome systemic barriers, and promote human rights and social justice. Students will apply a macro perspective to understanding the working nature of systems and community organizations, and the extent that they meet community needs. They will explore strategies and tactics that support change efforts by identifying needs and strategically supporting change implementation and evaluation. Introduction to literature on community organization and change management from a social work perspective, as well as the use of practical and theoretical case examples will allow students to develop a community support and practice framework.

SOWK 4133

Risk Assessment, Mitigation & Prevention

This course provides an overview of the context and application of risk assessment in the planning and delivery of social work services. Students will develop the knowledge and skills required to assess when and how to complete a risk assessment, prioritize the risks identified, and put in place a plan to reduce potential harm from emotional, sexual and physical abuse.

SOWK 4140

Practicum III

In this course students will undertake assigned social work roles and tasks within a social service organization under professional supervision. In these field activities students will practice and demonstrate their ability to integrate social work skills, ethics, values, theory, and research in their work with clients, colleagues and the broader community. Students will report and reflect on their field experiences with faculty and peers throughout the semester in small group seminars and within individual assignments. Students learn about a range of social work field settings through their participation in seminar.
This course is linked to SOWK 4240 (Practicum IV) and students will maintain their placement and seminar group throughout both courses.

SOWK 4160

Research Methods in Social Work

This course prepares students to evaluate and apply research to social work practice and policy development. Students will examine how qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods contribute to knowledge and understanding the limits of knowledge. Students will develop a research question and apply knowledge of research design (ethical issues, recruitment, sampling, data collection, data analysis) to that question.

SOWK 4233

Promoting Family and System Capacity

This course prepares students to work with individuals and communities in the identification and implementation of short- and long-term goals and strategies. Students will focus on goals and strategies that are consistent with sustainable, preventative social work practices for those involved in formal systems of support and related social services such as mental health, addictions, corrections, and child welfare. Students will also develop the skills and resources necessary to encourage families to take the lead to develop culturally appropriate goals and strategies, and to work critically and collaboratively with families and interdisciplinary communities of professionals in the assessment, planning and review of services.

SOWK 4240

Practicum IV

In this course students will undertake assigned social work roles and tasks within a social service organization under professional supervision. In these field activities students will practice and demonstrate their ability to integrate social work skills, ethics, values, theory, and research in their work with clients, colleagues and the broader community. Students will report and reflect on their field experiences with faculty and peers throughout the semester in small group seminars and within individual assignments. Students learn about a range of social work field settings through their participation in seminar.
This course follows SOWK 4140 (Practicum III) and students will maintain their placement and seminar group throughout both courses.

SOWK 4260

Global Perspectives in Social Work

In this course, students will examine the impact of globalization on social welfare in the local and international contexts. Course content will include contemporary and historical issues related to indigenous peoples, social justice, the environment, wealth, gender, human rights, and political freedoms, particularly as these relate to migration and settlement. Students will consider how globalizing forces are manifest in local communities in order to respond to and anticipate the social consequences of this process. Special attention will be given to investigating and applying principles and practices developed by indigenous peoples.