Choose one or two of the ten Competencies and discuss how that competency has influenced your learning experience and professional development as a social worker
5 More Core Competencies of Social Work Practice
January 20, 2015 by Chris Ingrao
In a recent blog post, we listed five of the 10 core competencies of social work practice mandated by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). These core
competencies are curriculum requirements for all accredited programs. Below, we cover the remaining five core competencies as outlined by the CSWE External link .
1. Use research in practice and practice in research. “Social workers use practice experience to inform research, employ evidence-based interventions, evaluate their
own practice, and use research findings to improve practice, policy, and social service delivery. Social workers comprehend quantitative and qualitative research and
understand scientific and ethical approaches to building knowledge. Social workers:
use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry; and
use research evidence to inform practice.”
2. Apply knowledge of human behavior and social context. “Social workers are knowledgeable about human behavior across the life course; the range of social systems in
which people live; and the ways social systems promote or deter people in maintaining or achieving health and well-being. Social workers apply theories and knowledge
from the liberal arts to understand biological, social, cultural, psychological, and spiritual development. Social workers:
utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation; and
critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.”
3. Engage in policy practice. “Social work practitioners understand that policy affects service delivery, and they actively engage in policy practice. Social workers
know the history and current structures of social policies and services; the role of policy in service delivery; and the role of practice in policy development. Social
analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being; and
collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action.”
4. Respond to influential contexts. “Social workers are informed, resourceful, and proactive in responding to evolving organizational, community, and societal contexts
at all levels of practice. Social workers recognize that the context of practice is dynamic, and use knowledge and skill to respond proactively. Social workers:
continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide
relevant services; and
provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services.”
5. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate. “Professional practice involves the dynamic and interactive processes of engagement, assessment, intervention, and
evaluation at multiple levels. Social workers have the knowledge and skills to practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Practice knowledge includes identifying, analyzing, and implementing evidence-based interventions designed to achieve client goals; using research and technological
advances; evaluating program outcomes and practice effectiveness; developing, analyzing, advocating, and providing leadership for policies and services; and promoting
social and economic justice.
Engagement — Social workers:
substantively and effectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities;
use empathy and other interpersonal skills; and
develop mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes.
Assessment — Social workers:
collect, organize, and interpret client data;
assess client strengths and limitations;
develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives; and
select appropriate intervention strategies.
Intervention — Social workers:
initiate actions to achieve organizational goals;
implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities;
help clients resolve problems;
negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients; and
facilitate transitions and endings.
Evaluation — Social workers critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions.”
By practicing according to these 10 core competencies, social workers make a tremendous difference for the clients they serve and greater society as a whole. Armed
with a greater understanding of what this field entails, you may decide that a social work career would be a perfect fit for your professional goals. If so, you’ll be
joining thousands of professionals in the social work community who use their skills, training, and expertise to help those who need them — and create a better world
for us all.