Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Mission and Goals

Auburn University Social Work Program Mission Statement/Goals and Educational Competencies.

Mission Statement

The Auburn University Social Work Program mission is to make a positive impact on the social problems within the State of Alabama by educating and training generalist social work personnel who are capable of addressing the problems unique to Alabama’s poor, advocating on behalf of the disenfranchised, including children and families at risk, and dealing with diverse populations. We do so by establishing and maintaining community partnerships, as well as developing and implementing research techniques and evaluative strategies designed to address these problems in a collaborative manner.

Program Goals

The goals of Auburn University’s Social Work Program reflect the university’s strong commitment to teaching, research and outreach. The goals that serve as an organizing framework are the following:

Program Goal #1: To provide a generalist practice curriculum that prepares beginning generalist social workers to engage in critical thinking in order to work effectively at all system levels, using social work values and ethics.

Program Goal #2: To provide a learning environment and curriculum that promotes an ability to understand and practice with diverse populations and that focuses on the roots, dynamics and consequences of social and economic injustice and equips students with the skills to promote social change directed toward remedying injustice and oppression faced by populations at risk on individual and collective levels.

Program Goal #3: To promote research on social welfare issues, and practice based on social work research findings.

Program Goal #4: To develop and nurture partnerships with community stakeholders through provision of training, education, civic engagement and research opportunities for graduates, faculty and the community.

The Auburn University Social Work curriculum prepares its graduates for generalist practice through mastery of core competencies and associated practice behaviors (as identified by the Council on Social Work Education.) These competencies (identified below) are comprised of knowledge, values and skills. Students must demonstrate the integration and application of the competencies in practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. 

Educational Competencies and Practice Behaviors

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.

    1. Advocate for client access to the services of social work.
    2. Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development.
    3. Attend to professional roles and boundaries.
    4. Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication.
    5. Engage in career-long learning.
    6. Use supervision and consultation.
  2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.

    1. Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice.
    2. Make ethical decisions by applying standards of the NASW Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles.
    3. Tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts.
    4. Apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions.
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.

    1. Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom.
    2. Analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation.
    3. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues.
  4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.

    1. Recognize the extent to which culture’s structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create/enhance privilege/power.
    2. Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups.
    3. Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences.
    4. View themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants.
  5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.

    1. Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination.
    2. Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice.
    3. Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.
  6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

    1. Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry.
    2. Use research evidence to inform practice.
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.

    1. Utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation.
    2. Critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.

    1. Analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being.
    2. Collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action.
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.

    1. Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services.
    2. Provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services.
  10. Engage assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

    1. Substantively and affectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
    2. Use empathy and other interpersonal skills.
    3. Develop a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes.
    4. Collect, organize, and interpret client data.
    5. Assess client strengths and limitations.
    6. Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives.
    7. Select appropriate intervention strategies.
    8. Initiate actions to achieve organizational goals.
    9. Implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities.
    10. Help clients resolve problems.
    11. Negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients.
    12. Facilitate transitions and endings.
    13. Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions.

Last Updated: July 29, 2020