SWRK 7980: The Social Entrepreneurial Approach to Community Reintegration
In this course, students work closely with the instructor and partner agencies to experiment a social entrepreneurial approach to community reintegration for formerly incarcerated people. This course provides a unique and flexible opportunity for students to work together on an ongoing SP2-driven initiative called Penn Restorative Entrepreneurship Program (PREP). Founded by Prof. Charlotte Ren and currently led by Prof. Chao Guo, PREP identifies a small group of formerly incarcerated individuals based on survey and interview results and selects students from various schools at Penn to offer ten-week intensive training on starting and running a small business. After the curriculum training, PREP continues to provide a support system to help them turn business ideas into reality. Through PREP, we hope to develop and demonstrate a sustainable and replicable model to effectively transition formerly incarcerated individuals back to the community.
Our field partner, Rescue Mission of Trenton, is a 103-year-old public charity located in Trenton, New Jersey that provides a variety of support services to formerly and currently incarcerated individuals, which complements well with the entrepreneurship training that PREP offers.
SWRK 7980: Clinical Consultation with Children, Adolescents, and Families
Clinical Practice Elective
This off-site course, held at Hall Mercer Community Mental Health Center, is designed to give students a unique environment in which to learn therapy with children and families. During each class, students will be located behind a one-way mirror to observe an interview with a child and family from the outpatient department at the Center. Students will discuss the case with the referring clinician prior to the interview, and the family will be invited to meet the students after the interview. Course readings are drawn from the writings of a wide range of practitioners illustrating numerous interview methods and theoretical frameworks. Each class will include a one-hour discussion of the readings, linking readings to practice through the observed interviews.
SWRK 7980: Methods for Community Research
This course is designed to introduce students to a variety of research skills involved in studying neighborhoods that are experiencing rapid change. The course takes a project-based approach by focusing on a particular neighborhood during the entire semester. Among the approaches taught during the semester are historical sources (Including maps, newspapers), aggregate census data analysis, microdata analysis (using PHMC community health surveys), interviewing, and observation.
SWRK 7980: Practice in Schools
Clinical Practice Elective; Macro Practice Elective
This course examines the various roles that a school social worker may have in a school setting. Knowing educational law, delivering mental health services, and advocating on behalf of students are just some of the many expectations of a social worker within the school environment. School social workers have unique training, which enables them to assist students, parents, and the school with connections to community services and resources, and to support the students’ social and emotional needs within the school. This course utilizes the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) outlined requirements for the Home and School Visitor (HSV) certification. While this course is not currently part of the HSV curriculum at SP2, it is highly recommended for students who are interested in school social work.
SWRK 7980: Housing Policy and Social Inclusion
This course examines the challenges to creating integrated housing and community opportunities for adults with complex needs. This includes people with unique physical and mental health challenges, people who experience homelessness, people returning to their communities from prison, veterans, and young adults who have recently transitioned out of foster care or juvenile justice. All of these groups face potential challenges to accessing safe and adequate housing. Further, even if housed, they may not be in environments that provide the appropriate supports to facilitate their connection to work, family, social activities, and civic participation. Recent action by the US Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Executive Branch are advancing the cause of improved housing and social inclusion for many of these vulnerable groups. This course will use a combination of research syntheses, policy reviews, and engagement with policymakers and others to better understand the challenges and opportunities ahead.
SWRK 7980: Foundations of Animal Assisted Interventions and Social Work
This course incorporates students’ foundational knowledge, values, and skills in social work with the therapeutic use of animals among various client populations. It addresses the impact of companion animals in clients’ lives and environments, and considers animal abuse’s inter-relationships with domestic violence, child maltreatment and elder abuse. By incorporating animals therapeutically and by responding to clients’ concerns about animals that are meaningful in their lives, social workers can help people more effectively, make a difference in challenging societal issues, and influence social change and public policy. The course builds upon interdisciplinary research and practice in four conceptual frameworks: the human-animal bond, animal-assisted interventions, animal abuse and interpersonal violence, and cultural competence.
SWRK 7980: Motivational Interviewing in Social Work
Clinical Practice Elective
Motivational interviewing is a person-centered, collaborative method for exploring ambivalence and enhancing motivation to change. This course will familiarize the students with the philosophy, theory, and spirit of motivation interviewing and its compatibility with social work values and ethics. It will delve into the techniques of motivational interviewing so that students will understand the applicability of the model with clients that are mandated to attend services or are initially unwilling to change within the context of regard for human dignity, respect, and client self-determination.
SWRK 7980: Social Work Direct and Macro Practice in the Affordable Care Act Era
Clinical Practice Elective, Macro Practice Elective, Policy Option
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has transformed the landscape of social work direct and macro practice. Marked by new regimes of networked agencies, insurance plans and wrap-around services, the ACA presents unique challenges to social workers at every level of practice. What does direct and macro practice look like, and what are the new clinical and macro skills that social workers will need in the ACA era? How will social workers need to justify their services to agencies, networks of care, and reimbursement providers? What is the role of evidence-based practice in this new healthcare system, and how will social workers advocate for marginalized communities? These are some of the questions with which the class will engage, while training students in the skills, protocols, and systems necessary to negotiate the ACA landscape, at the clinical, agency and policy levels. Students will engage with, and learn from clinicians, heads of agencies and policy formulators from across the country with experience negotiating the ACA regime. In particular, students will be trained in the clinical and macro skills necessary to operate in the multidisciplinary healthcare teams and environments that the ACA now mandates. The class seeks to bring together the macro and direct practice skills that will be required in the ACA era, and connect students to the actual work conditions with which they will be confronted when they graduate.
SWRK 7980: Social Work Practice with Groups
Clinical Practice Elective; Macro Practice Elective
Group work is an essential part of social work direct practice. Every social service agency utilizes groups, and social workers will engage with a variety of groups during the course of their careers. Given the fact that collective group processes are especially salient for marginalized communities, group work is essential to direct practice that is embedded in the principles of social justice. Moreover, group work has been shown to be a superior form of intervention for clients battling chronic conditions, entrenched behaviors and social stigma. In an era of evidence-based practice, successful and cost-effective group skills are a vital component of every social worker’s toolkit. Students will learn about different types of groups and modalities, facilitate groups in class and in field settings, and engage with social workers who have implemented group interventions in various communities in diverse contexts. The class will train students to facilitate therapeutic, psychoeducational, task, and decision groups, while helping them to explore how to start, manage and terminate groups in various social work settings.
SWRK 7980: LGBTQ Communities and Social Policy
The course will explore and analyze the development of social policy within the context of LGBTQ social movements both assimilationist and liberationist. Among the policies examined are HIV/AIDS, Defense of Marriage Act, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Same-Sex Marriage, Adoption of Children, the DSM and Pathologizing the LGBT Community, Legal Issues, Non-Discrimination, and Hate Law Legislation. Social Services for the LGBTQ community will be discussed as well as support for LGBTQ youth. The particular difficulties confronting transpeople and their acceptance will be examined in the context of the social construction of gender; in this, the work of philosophers Judith Butler and Michel Foucault will be introduced. Questions of social justice will be threaded throughout the course, as will social work advocacy and coalition building.
SWRK 7980: Supporting LGBTQ Across the Lifespan
Clinical Elective; Macro Practice Elective
As recognition and acceptance of individuals across and beyond both the sexual orientation and gender identity spectrums continues to progress within the United States, clinical theory and applications for working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer plus (LGBTQ+) individuals has also expanded. This course will explore the clinical theories and treatment approaches geared towards affirming and supporting LGBTQ+ individuals within their romantic and/or sexual relationships, families of origin, and families of choice. Areas of development will be addressed across the lifespan including specific milestones related to gender and sexuality development as well as psychological, sociocultural, and spiritual influences upon development. Centering on a social justice approach, learners will be encouraged to critically examine systemic factors impacting LGBTQ+ individuals as well as the intersectionality of various identities including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability/disability, socioeconomic status, educational attainment, mental and physical health, and other identities (both self-assigned and externally applied) that can impact development. Each stage of development will include multiple cases for review and consideration of potential practice implications at the individual, relationship, family, community, and systemic levels. Upon conclusion of the course, learners will have a stronger understanding of the practice theories that exist, the practice models that best fit their professional style, and clear understanding of practice application in regards to affirming and supporting LGBTQ+ individuals.
SWRK 7980: Social Change through Participatory Filmmaking
This course is a unique opportunity for University of Pennsylvania undergraduates and graduate students to work with high school students in a Philadelphia high school to create film projects that reflect the experiences of those in the Philadelphia-community and the dilemmas inherent in conducting participatory research. Co-sponsored by the Netter Center for Community Partnerships and the School of Social Policy & Practice, the course challenges students to think beyond the borders of the university space by engaging with school communities to “learn through service” and creating context-relevant film products which will be shown to students, parents, and teachers at their school-site. Each group of Penn students will work with 3-4 high school students and one graduate student teaching assistant to create a film on a documentary topic of their choosing, working together to conceptualize their theme, storyboard, produce, and, finally, edit a complete film of approximately 10 minutes.
SWRK 7980: Relationship Theory
Clinical Practice Elective
The goal of this course is to introduce the participants to the basic principles and practice of couple therapy. With its rich history as a distinct discipline integrating both individual and systemic theory, students will explore a broad range of theoretical and clinical approaches within this field. Issues such as intimacy, gender, power, class, race, orientation, family of origin, affairs, separation, divorce, domestic violence, sex, parent-child relationships, and money will be discussed.
SWRK 7980: Global Social Impact 360
All societies face the same needs to provide access to health care, education, a robust economy, and a sustainable environment, among others. In most societies, the three major sectors – government, commercial-for-profit, and non-profit sectors – all play their role in affecting and meeting these social needs. In many situations, the lack of trust, poor coordination, silo-operations, and misaligned goals and objectives among the sectors lead to missed opportunities and suboptimal outcome in delivering social goods. Furthermore, decision makers in all sectors often struggle with balancing immediate needs with long term goals. This course introduces students to a holistic strategic framework in designing and implementing meaningful and effective social change initiatives. We will develop perspectives that critically consider the impact of social intervention from macro/micro and short/long term view and will actively explore opportunities for synergistic collaboration across sectors in order to achieve enhanced social impact.
SWRK 7980: Social Work Research Practicum and Seminar
Research Option; Prerequisite: SWRK 6150
The research practicum and seminar provides students with supervised, hands-on, practical experience with a member of the SP2 Faculty in a new or an ongoing research project. Rather than learn research methods in the abstract, students will engage in the full process of producing new knowledge. Typical activities will include discussing research problems, summary of literature, developing hypotheses, data collection, data analysis, interpretation of results, and research report writing. The practicum, based on the specific project, may also involve activities such as subject recruitment and screening, instrument development, participant observations, and statistical analysis. This is an experiential class and the progression of the class will be different every time the class is offered based on the research topics, students, and class instructor. Students who find learning in a fluid environment difficult are advised against taking this social work research practicum and seminar.
SWRK 7980: Spanish for the Social Service Professions
Spanish for the Social Service Professions is a semester-long elementary Spanish Language that incorporates activities, vocabulary, and readings of particular interest to social service practitioners. The course is designed to develop the fundamentals of practical Spanish, with a special focus on social service situations and basic terminology. In this course, particular attention will be given to developing speaking and listening skills, as well as cultural competency. Students will be expected to participate in classroom activities such as role-plays based on typical office and case study procedures in order to develop meaningful and accurate communication skills in the target language.
SWRK 7980: Forensic Social Work
Forensic social work is an area of specialty within social work that focuses on issues related to the law and legal systems. Forensic social workers are called upon to provide a variety of services including: recommendations on adult and child mental health status for court evaluation, testifying as an expert witness regarding child welfare and/or domestic violence cases, interfacing with juvenile courts, drug courts, and/or mental health courts, as well as child custody issues involving separation, divorce, neglect, and termination of parental rights, to name a few. The purpose of this course is to gain familiarity with the principles and practices of forensic social work. Class lectures and discussions will include the following: diverse methods for forensic risk assessment, relevant theories and models of offender behaviors, the role of the legal system as it pertains to forensic practices, treatment approaches with juvenile and adult offenders, intervening with incarcerated populations, including those with severe mental illness, and/or drug and alcohol addictions, and the fundamentals of expert witness testimony. Class discussions will be framed within the prism of broader contextual issues and will examine their impact on forensic populations. Lectures, class discussions, case examples, videos, and power point presentations will be utilized throughout the course.
SWRK 7980: Play Therapy
Clinical Practice Elective
Play is the method children use to master and understand their worlds. When working with children and adolescents, social workers often utilize play as a primary treatment intervention. This course will provide students with a foundation in play therapy theories, techniques, and practice intervention models. Play therapy philosophies will be critically analyzed. Play therapy will be presented for application in a variety of practice settings as well as with individuals, families, and groups. Students will be taught how to apply play therapy to address issues such as trauma, loss, mood disturbance, relational stress, anxiety, and academic performance. Emphasis will be placed on approaching play therapy from perspectives of multicultural competence, empowerment, social justice, and inclusion.
SWRK 7980: The Social Entrepreneurial Approach to Community Reintegration
The School of Social Policy and Practice is pleased to offer a Special Topics course for spring semester 2021: The Social Entrepreneurial Approach to Community Re-Integration (SWRK 798003) on Thursdays 4pm-6:30pm. The class, an integral part of the Penn Restorative Entrepreneurship Program (PREP), will offer a group of previously incarcerated people intensive training on opening and running a new business. Students from SP2, Wharton, and Penn Law will work with returning citizens on teams throughout the semester which will learn to craft a viable business plan while also learning to recognize and overcome barriers to successful reintegration frequently encountered by formerly incarcerated individuals. In the final meeting, the teams will make pitches to a panel of angel investors who intend to provide funding to the most promising proposals.
The course aims to not only play an important role in reducing recidivism but to also enable University of Pennsylvania students the opportunity to connect with members of our broader community and engage in meaningful social change in a cross-disciplinary setting where the expectation is that all of us has something to learn from and to teach to everyone else.
The returning citizens will be referred to the program by two field partners:
Re-Entry Court of the Eastern District of PA, Supervision to Aid Re-entry (STAR) STAR is a program founded in 2007 by Federal Judges Felipe Restrepo and Tim Rice and is supported by the US attorneys’ Office which aims to reduce recidivism and aid successful reentry by offering an array of social programs and supports to returning citizens.
Rescue Mission of Trenton is public charity located in Trenton, New Jersey, which for over a century has provided a variety of support services to formerly and currently incarcerated individuals.
SWRK 7980: Effective Interventions with Latino Youth and Families
Clinical Practice Elective
This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of clinical and macro practices with the Latino population and subgroups across the lifespan. The course seeks to deepen students’ awareness and understanding of the historical, political, economic, social, and cultural contexts of Latinos in the U.S. Students will gain practice-based knowledge by critically examining the variety of practice frameworks, socio-ecological concepts and theories (e.g., acculturation social stratification, racial and ethnic identity), and cultural constructs (e.g., familismo, respecto) that inform culturally enriching practices with different Latino groups. Students will also examine the research literature on socio-demographic correlates of Latino biopsychosocial problems and disparities; and outreach, prevention, and treatment interventions across Latino subgroups and service settings. This knowledge will then be applied to understanding and effectively intervening in the array of biopsychosocial issues (e.g., poverty, health and mental health disparities, violence, child welfare system involvement, discrimination) impacting the Latino population. Students will identify and critically evaluate evidence-based practices and approaches for working with the Latino population in a wide array of clinical and macro level practices and contexts. The value of research and community-based approaches for developing, testing and implementing culturally congruent, evidence-based practices will be discussed. This course assumes that students have already acquired a strong knowledge base in the basic concepts of diversity, human behaviors, social and economic justice, and basic research methods. Concepts, issues, and methodologies learned through previous course work and/or experience will now be applied to critically analyze empirically based practice with Latino youth and families.
SWRK 7980: Postmodern Social Work Practice
The course is based on the view that social work as a discipline and a practice can comfortably locate itself more squarely within a postmodern frame of reference. Postmodernism articulates a world that is culturally one of multiplicity, diversity, contingency, fragmentation, and rupture and accepts that we now live in a state of perpetual incompleteness and permanent unresolve. Postmodernism promotes the notion of radical pluralism, many ways of knowing, and many truths. From a postmodern perspective knowledge is articulated from local perspectives, with all its uncertainties, complexity, and paradox. This viewpoint suggests that knowledge is relational and that all reality is woven and rewoven on shared linguistic looms. The course will initially explore the cultural, social, and intellectual transition from modernity to postmodernity and the implications for social work at the direct practice, community and social policy levels. The thought of some of the key philosophers who have and continue to shape the texture of the postmodern present will be considered: Nietzsche, Foucault, Derrida, Cixous, Kristeva, Butler. The course will introduce the idea that the arts and humanities and popular culture can be important sources of understanding for social work and specific examples will be discussed.
SWRK 7980: Problem Solving Therapy: An Evidence-Based Model
This advanced course in problem solving therapy is intended to teach the application of theory integrated into clinical practice. Problem identification, problem definition, assessment, coping style, diagnosis, treatment planning, decision-making, solution implementation, and evaluation are structured processes of problem solving therapy practice that serve as an organizing framework for clinical application to a variety of problems (e.g. depression, anxiety, cancer, substance abuse, caregiving) and populations (children, adults, couples, older adults) The purpose of this course is for students to acquire direct practice skills of problem solving therapy and to begin to apply the components of the model through the stages of a treatment case. In addition, students will develop knowledge and skills in which to track change and evaluate the effectiveness of their clinical practice.
SWRK 7980: The Latino/a & Puerto Rican Experience: Philadelphia and nationally
The Latino population in the United States was estimated at 35.5 million in the 2000 U.S. Census (about 14.2% of the total US population). The US Census update report of 2006 now estimates the Latino population at 42.7 million, making Hispanics the nation’s largest ethnic or race minority. These estimates do not include the 4 million residents of Puerto Rico. The Latino community is increasing almost four times as fast as the rest of the U.S. population. Some of the reasons attributed to this growth are increased immigration and a relatively young population. It is projected that the US Hispanic population will constitute 24% of the nation’s total population by July 1, 2050. Currently there are 19 States in which Hispanics are the largest race or ethnic minority group (US Census, 2006). At the same time there were 1.6 million Hispanic-owned businesses in 2002 (US Census, 2006). The median income of Hispanic households in 2005 was $35,967. That year 21.8% of Hispanics lived in poverty. 32.7% of Hispanics lacked health insurance in 2005. The percentage of Hispanics age 25 and older who had at least a high school education in 2004 was 58% and only 12% of the Hispanic population 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2004. Philadelphia has the third largest Puerto Rican community in the United States (NYC, Chicago and Philadelphia). The 2000 U.S. Census affirms that there are 91,527 persons residing in the city that self-identified as Puerto Rican and the community is growing in Philadelphia. This community is part of an ever-increasing Latino presence in Philadelphia. Of the 400,000 Latinos in Pennsylvania, 128,928 of those Latinos live in Philadelphia. 58% of all Latinos in Pennsylvania are Puerto Rican; the 2nd largest in the US after Connecticut (60.7%). This course will examine political, socioeconomic and cultural aspects of the Puerto Rican Diaspora to Philadelphia and Latinos in the United States, making connections between the experiences of Puerto Ricans/Latinos in Philadelphia with that of Puerto Ricans/Latinos in other Cities across the United States and its impact in the delivery of social services and the policies that drive services to these communities.
SWRK 7980: Philanthropy and Fundraising Tools for Managers of Nonprofit Organizations
Macro Practice Elective
This course reviews the knowledge base and tools that nonprofit managers and development officers need to raise funds from individuals and other sources of private philanthropy. Last year, Americans gave approximately $300 million and 83% of it was from individuals. The fundraising and development profession has created a significant body of knowledge in the past twenty years that guide effective fundraising programs so that charitable organizations can support their mission. The course sessions review the theoretical and practical techniques that development professionals use every day in large and small organizations including annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, cultivation of donors, making your case for support, the Seven Faces of Philanthropy, special events, and prospect research. There will also be discussions of philanthropic trends, donors, and their styles of giving and current giving patterns. For those who are interested in nonprofit administration, these will be critical tools to have and understand in your workplace.
SWRK 7980: Measuring Sensitive Topics
Research Option (Prerequisite SWRK 6150)
This course is designed to improve the measurement of sensitive topics in human behavior by increasing the skill of those who do the measuring. We will focus largely, albeit not exclusively, on the behavior of individuals. The course will focus on behaviors that typically are not and, for a variety of reasons, usually cannot be directly observed. Nonetheless, researchers are called upon to measure these behaviors that are key to understanding important social and health issues facing society. The course will review current best practices in data collection as well as the specific areas of attitudes, drug use, sexual activity, interpersonal violence, and standard demographic characteristics. Social context of the work as well as human subject considerations will be addressed.
SWRK 7980: Loss and Crisis Intervention
Clinical Practice Elective
This second-year practice elective is designed to support the student’s development of clinical practice skills in working with loss and grief. Students will explore the impact of loss & grief on individuals, families, and communities. Students will develop the ability to assess and intervene with a wide array of grieving populations. Clinical social work interventions will be explored from the perspectives of immediate crisis intervention and long-term engagement. Specific topics for the class include ambiguous loss, chronic sorrow, acute grief, treating grief, treating children and youth, complicated grief, traumatic loss, community grief support, and critical incident stress debriefing.
SWRK 7980: Social Policy and the Latinx Immigrant Community
MSW Policy Option
In this course on social policy and the Latinx immigrant community in the US, students will develop a broad understanding of how social policy at the local, state, and federal levels affect Latinx immigrants’ access to and interactions with social services. After developing a critical understanding of the diversity of the Latinx immigrant community and of the socio-political and –historical context for the development of social policies impacting this community, students will explore social policy and related social services around immigration, health, education, and labor that deeply affect the lived experiences of Latinx immigrants. Students will then investigate Latinx immigrants’ participation in the development of social policies as well as the ways in which Latinx grassroots movements and organizations influence national debates on public policy and social services for the Latinx immigrant community. Students will also learn about this group’s economic contributions to funding at local, state, and national levels to the U.S. social welfare system, as well as new and current initiatives promoting social policies geared towards social and economic justice for Latinx immigrants. Through course readings, lectures and discussions students will develop tools for critical thinking and analysis about how social services and the daily lived experiences of Latinx immigrants are mediated by policy and its implementation at local, state, and federal levels. Students will also develop skills in case study analysis through interactions and interviews with invited guests – local Latinx immigrant community members and social leaders – who will share their own perspectives, knowledge and firsthand experience around issues related to social policy and Latinx immigrants. Over the course of the semester, students will formulate plans for social policy advocating for social justice and human rights within the Latinx immigrant community.
SWRK 7980: Critical Race Theory
This course explores Critical Race Theory (CRT). CRT refers to a body of work that emerged during the 1980s and 90s among legal educators to try and explain why there seemingly has been racial progress on the one hand through laws and court decisions that outlaw the most visible symbols of racial discrimination, but growing signs of racial inequality on the other in education, health, criminal justice, housing, politics, and other areas. During the past ten years, fields such as women’s studies, sociology, education, gender studies, history, criminology, and postcolonial studies have begun to look to the insights developed by critical race theorists. Without a doubt, CRT has spawned and/or influenced new areas of inquiry such as Latino/a critical studies, queer studies, critical race feminism, and critical white studies. Although social work researchers have begun to use CRT ideas such as intersectionality, the application of Critical Race Theory to the field remains largely unexplored.
SWRK 7980: Violence in Relationships through the Lifespan
The primary objective of the course is for students to gain specific knowledge and to develop critical thinking skills so as to better understand violence in relationships, which is pervasive in most societies. Using a life course perspective, SWRK 7980 will address abuse from childhood through late life. We will examine how norms and gender and generational differences in resource distribution shape the occurrence, experience, and individual and societal/structural responses to non-stranger violence. Students will learn about the definitions, conceptual frameworks, myths, processes, consequences, and societal interventions regarding violence in relationships. In addition, the course is designed to motivate students to examine their perceptions about these issues so that they can be more effective in their careers as well as more effective as members of a society that, like almost all societies, seems to hold a deep ambivalence about violence in relationships.
SWRK 7980: Taking Down the Prison Industrial Complex: Macro, Meso, and Individual-Level Direct Practice with People Emerging from Incarceration
Clinical and Macro Practice Elective
The U.S. incarcerates more people than any other country, and more than any nation has ever done in history. The racial disparities that mark this carceral regime have led scholars to describe the prison industrial complex as a new form of Jim Crow. Philadelphia has one of the highest incarceration rates in the country, and one of the largest populations on parole and probation. This class explores structural and individual-level pathways to re-engage the vast population of recently incarcerated people who cycle through prisons, jails, juvenile homes, and other detention centers. Drawing on practice informed by critical race, postcolonial, feminist, and queer theories, the class prepares the conceptual and practice foundations for a prison abolitionist orientation in social work engagement with this community. Utilizing a daily workshop format that incorporates members of the Philadelphia decarcerate landscape, students will be trained in direct and macro practice, to engage with people and the carceral systems they are embedded in. The class will engage students with the innovative psychotherapeutic and macro practices being implemented in the Center for Carceral Communities at SP2, alternative programs in Philadelphia’s municipal and federal courts, educational degree programs at community colleges in Philadelphia, co-operative business initiatives for people emerging from incarceration, and social movements such as Black Lives Matter that are shaping the prison abolition landscape. The class blends morning sessions dedicated to discussions of texts with afternoon sessions dedicated to hands-on implementation workshops. At the end of the class, students will be prepared to immediately start engaging with members of the community emerging from incarceration.
SWRK 7980: “The Ghetto”: Race, Place, and the Ethnographic Impossible
There has been a recent resurgence in explicit academic invocations of “the ghetto” to describe contemporary urban life in 21st century America. Most of these scholarly interventions, from sociology to philosophy, are offered as a way to talk about how race and class continue to get mapped onto concrete geographical spaces in ways that reproduce or even compound social inequities and injustice. Using mostly (though not exclusively) ethnographic texts, this course seeks to unpack the key concepts/themes, theoretical frameworks, political controversies and local activism/activities/organizing that define and overdetermine engagements with “the ghetto” as a material and symbolic site of contestation. Several key questions will guide our explorations: Is “the ghetto” ethnographically or analytically accessible? How might one attempt to represent the nexus of racial and class-based vulnerability in newfangled and transformative ways? What kinds of issues tend to get fetishized, vulgarized, or rendered invisible in conventional depictions of “the ghetto” and the “ghetto dwellers” who reside there? Students will be asked to contribute to a single, class-wide, multi-modal research project on the intersections of race and class in the city of Philadelphia. As part of that collective effort, students will choose from one of the following as the format/genre for their term assignment: short films, audio or written ethnographies, photo-essays/exhibits, and VR tours.
SWRK 7980: Brief Mental Health Treatments for Primary Care Settings
This course is proposed for students in social work or a related clinical degree program and will be co-taught by an interdisciplinary team that includes social work and psychology. This course will also serve as a prerequisite for the Collaborative Care for Behavioral Health practicum. Increasingly, mental health interventions are moving beyond specialty mental health settings into clinical care settings where individuals already receive other health services, such as their primary care office (often referred to as “integrated care”). The goal of this course will be to teach trainees the fundamental skills needed to delivery evidence-based practices in these integrated settings. The course will teach the skills needed to collaborate with other professionals within the context of an integrated care team (e.g., social work, physicians, nurses, etc.), conduct brief assessment, and deliver brief, evidence-based interventions for commonly presenting behavioral health concerns (e.g., depression, anxiety, substance use).
SWRK 7980/8980: Mental Health Policy
The focus of this course will be on policies and policy issues that define and influence the care and treatment of persons with mental illness from colonial times to the present. The course will examine the primary social, political, economic, legal, and philosophical forces that have influenced mental health delivery in the United States over different historical time periods and the resulting organizational, financial, administrative, and management structures of mental health service delivery systems. The interface with other major service delivery systems, including welfare, criminal justice, primary health care, and social security will be addressed. Topics to be included will be deinstitutionalization, managed care, psychiatric rehabilitation, cultural issues and disparities of care, children’s treatment and services, professional certification and roles, and family and consumer advocacy. Major legal cases and legislation relevant to these topics will be covered. This will be an interdisciplinary course taught by faculty trained in social work, psychiatry, law, and health policy and management. It is open to masters and doctoral students.
SWRK 7990: Independent Study
Independent studies provide a flexible opportunity for standing faculty and students to work together in pursuing a topic of special interest that is not sufficiently covered by other courses in the curriculum. The content of independent studies is highly specialized and, as such, requires a plan of study developed jointly by the student(s) and the supervising standing faculty member. Part-time faculty members are not eligible to offer independent studies. Plans for an Independent Study should include: a statement of the issue(s) to be studied; a rationale for why the identified issue(s) should be pursued via an independent study; a statement of how the independent study fits into the student’s overall educational plan; a summary of the independent study’s major learning objectives; the methods to be used in carrying out the study; a workable plan; the educational “products” that will result from the study (normally a written report or paper); and the expected date by which the independent study will be completed. The process for arranging an independent study requires approval of both the student’s academic advisor and a standing faculty member who has agreed to conduct the independent study. The procedures to be followed are: 1) the student discusses interest in doing an independent study with the academic advisor; 2) if the advisor concurs with the student’s submission, the advisor and student will discuss potential standing faculty sponsors; 3) if a standing faculty sponsor can be located, the student and standing faculty sponsor craft the specific plan, including learning objectives, content, and structure for the course; and 4) the academic advisor informs the registrar that an independent study for the student has been approved.
On the rare occasions that a student is unable to schedule a regular School course, the academic advisor makes a recommendation to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs who will try to identify a standing or adjunct faculty member able to supervise the course delivered as an independent study.
SWRK 8970: Applied Linear Modeling
Prerequisite: Introductory Graduate Statistics
This course deals with the underlying assumptions and applications of the general linear model with social science, education, and social welfare policy related questions/data. The first half of the course begins by covering simple linear regression and the assumptions of the general linear model, assumption diagnostics, consequences of violation, and how to correct for violated assumptions. This will also include methods of incomplete data analysis (i.e. missing data analysis). Then various aspects of regression analysis with multiple independent variables will be covered including categorical explanatory variables (e.g. to estimate group differences), interaction effects, mediating effects (e.g. to estimate the indirect effect of social processes), and non-linear effects. The course will then cover some of the applications of the general(ized) linear model including logistic regression, some elements of path modeling (structural equation modeling), and multilevel analysis (hierarchical linear modeling). The course will be taught using SAS, but students are welcome to use any statistical package of comfort.
SWRK 8990: Structural Equation Modeling
Prerequisite: Graduate Course on Regression or Linear Modeling
This course is an introduction to linear structural equation modeling and its application to social and policy research. This course will cover various data analytic techniques ranging from simple regression, path models, and factor analysis to multiple group analysis, incomplete case analysis, and advanced longitudinal models. Within each technique we will examine algebraic and graphic model specification, estimation procedures, identification, goodness-of-fit criteria, and alternative models comparison. The goals of this course are to develop an understanding of the conceptual, mathematical, and application bases of structural equation modeling, to learn how to specify and estimate models, and to evaluate them in relation to alternative models using statistical and practical criteria. Classes will include both theoretical and practical sections using M/plus/.