Coursework

SSWN 511 Seminar in Child Abuse Identification and Reporting

Identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect. Signs and symptoms to look for; ways to approach children; understanding the variety of ways children may convey that they are being abused or neglected; social worker concerns regarding reporting abuse or neglect; rationalizations for not reporting; working with systems; and the aftermath of reporting abuse or neglect. One session, must be taken either at the School or through an approved provider. Required by Touro’s MSW program and for New York State licensing. 0 credits.

SSWN 619 Writing for Social Work I

This course is designed for students admitted to the MSW program on a provisional basis and for some students enrolled on a non-matriculated basis. This course offers systematic assistance with grammar, syntax, critical thinking, and the proper use of APA reference style. 2 credits.

SSWN 637 Social Work Research

This first semester course, of the one year (two-semester) research sequence, examines the role of social workers as both consumers and practitioners of research. This course elaborates on the mission of Touro College Graduate School of Social Work by preparing students to become effective social workers capable of utilizing evidence based principles and theories in their practices. This first semester will introduce students to the foundation of sound research concepts as a basis for the expansion of social work knowledge and an opportunity for strengthening practice skills. 

SSWN 640 Field Work I

The first semester required field practicum in an approved field education site. The practicum offers students the opportunity, while under the guidance of an approved MSW field instructor, to integrate theory and practice and to apply foundation year knowledge and skills in an internship. Foundations of Social Practice I and Integrative Practice Field Seminar are required concurrently. Co-requisites: SSWN 642, SSWN 650. 3 credits.

SSWN 641 Field Work II

The second semester foundation year field practicum. Students continue to intern at their first semester (Field I) site. In the second semester students are given the opportunity to further apply theory to practice and to develop more advanced skills in their work with a variety of client systems. Required concurrent courses are Foundations of Social Work Practice II and the continued Integrative Practice Field Seminar. Prerequisite: SSWN 640. Co-requisites: SSWN 642, SSWN 651. 3 credits.

SSWN 642 Integrative Practice Field Seminar

Integrative Practice Field Seminar is a one year course, designed to augment Foundation Year Field Education in conjunction with the Practice I and II courses.  The seminar assists students in transitioning into their professional roles as social work interns in field.  The seminar offers skills and learning necessary for students to develop a sense of professional self and introduces them to the concepts of self-reflection and autonomy as practitioners. Students will learn to integrate generalist social work practice and theory while furthering their social work skills. 

SSWN 650 Foundations of Social Work Practice I

The first of a two-course sequence, this foundation practice course is designed to provide  students with an integrative framework that combines direct practice with individuals, groups, families, organizations and communities.

Content in this generalist course stresses the strengths, capacities and resources of client systems and incorporates core concepts from social work practice theory, methods and techniques.  Students are taught the skills to develop appropriate client-worker relationships and how to facilitate psychosocial data collection and assessment.  Knowledge for culturally competent practice at the micro, mezzo and macro level will be stressed.  An additional focus will be on increasing the students’ knowledge and sensitivity to specific vulnerable populations and traditionally oppressed groups.  Students will learn to identify, analyze and implement evidenced-based intervention and to evaluate outcomes and practice effectiveness.

SSWN 651 Foundations of Social Work Practice II

This course is a continuation of the skills learned in Foundations of Social Work Practice I and specifically addresses the middle and ending phases of practice.   The course teaches students that social work practice in its broadest sense and within a specific session, proceeds through “phases of work.” Generalist middle-phase practice concepts such as: tuning in, implementing the plan, prioritizing goals, partializing a problem, facilitating elaboration and communicating empathy will be taught.  The course will also concentrate on the dynamics and skills involved in transitions and endings. Students learn specific techniques that can be used to facilitate the problem-solving work at each step.

Throughout the course we explore several factors that can profoundly affect practice such as agency culture, professional values and ethics, issues of social and economic justice and diversity. Practice principles for social work with oppressed and vulnerable people will be explored.  Emphasis is on skills necessary for generalist practice at the micro, mezzo and macro levels within the person and environment, strengths based perspectives.

SSWN 660 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I

As a component of preparing students for clinical practice in an urban, multicultural and diverse environment, the first semester of the one-year (two-semester) foundation HBSE course examines the person-in environment matrix with a specific focus on diversity. This semester will focus on developing understanding of the complex interactions of biological, psychological, spiritual, economic, political, and socio-cultural forces operating at different system levels.

We will examine theory and empirical evidence to provide a multidimensional perspective on these systems. Included in this study is an exploration of contemporary challenges and mechanisms of oppression facing individuals, families, social groups, communities, social networks, formal organizations, and social institutions in a multicultural society.

We will also look at the fundamental ways in which the lifelong development of individuals is shaped by the fact that personal growth occurs within given social-cultural systems and institutions during particular periods of history and by the fact that individuals act back on these social-cultural systems and institutions in a reciprocally influencing manner.

Many theories of person-and-environment exist today, each one spurred by a different ideology or worldview. Applicable theories range from psychodynamic approaches to modern social systems theories, to feminist theories and social constructionism. Focusing on the intersectionality of race, gender and class allows us to critically examine past theoretical frameworks in the context of these newer ideologies. Diversity, social work ethics and values, and the profession’s fundamental interest in promoting social and economic justice and in addressing the needs of populations at risk, underlie much of this understanding. 

The application of this HBSE foundation knowledge to the process of assessment in social work will be illustrated. HBSE I contributes to the foundation knowledge necessary for the emerging self-awareness of the student-practitioner. It also lays the groundwork for students to consider the changing configurations of persons and environments across the life course that is the focus of HBSE II.

SSWN 661 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II

As a component of preparing students for clinical practice in an urban, multicultural and diverse environment, the second semester of the one-year (two-semester) foundation HBSE course examines the person-in environment matrix with a specific focus on diversity. This semester will focus on developing understanding of the complex interactions of biological, psychological, spiritual, economic, political, and socio-cultural forces operating at different system levels. We will examine theory and empirical evidence to provide a multidimensional perspective on these systems. Included in this study is an exploration of contemporary challenges and mechanisms of oppression facing individuals, families, social groups, communities, social networks, formal organizations, and social institutions in a multicultural society.

We will also look at the fundamental ways in which the lifelong development of individuals is shaped by the fact that personal growth occurs within given social-cultural systems and institutions during particular periods of history and by the fact that individuals act back on these social-cultural systems and institutions in a reciprocally influencing manner.

 Many theories of person-and-environment exist today, each one spurred by a different ideology or worldview. Applicable theories range from psychodynamic approaches to modern social systems theories, to feminist theories and social constructionism. Focusing on the intersectionality of race, gender and class allows us to critically examine past theoretical frameworks in the context of these newer ideologies. Diversity, social work ethics and values, and the profession’s fundamental interest in promoting social and economic justice and in addressing the needs of populations at risk, underlie much of this understanding. 

HBSE II considers the changing configurations of persons and environments across the life course.

SSWN 662 Identity and Social Justice:: Implications for SW Practice

Throughout this course, we will explore how elements of the social structure construct categories of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, disability and religious affiliation have been transformed into systems of oppression and privilege. The course will assist social work students in understanding the complex nature of the person in the environment taking into consideration the dynamics of social oppression, diversity and social functioning. Students will explore their own personal values, beliefs, and behaviors that may limit their ability to practice effective social work with people of diverse backgrounds, in particular, from disadvantaged and oppressed groups.

Cultural competence is needed at all levels of practice. Understanding the relationship between social oppression and diversity requires recognition of the centrality of diversity as a reflection of the world views of diverse people, the nature of multiple diversities, the cultural strength and richness that is in inherent in all people, the power of personal experience and the inter-relatedness and inter-connectedness of human experience. Various principles for developing cultural competence are presented throughout the course. With an awareness of diversity, social workers aim to bring this awareness to action, which can lead to change resulting in economic and social justice. This approach reflects the need for multi-system analysis, anti-racist and affirmative practice and action on the micro, mezzo, macro levels.

SSWN 670 Social Welfare Policy and Service Delivery Systems I

Social welfare policies and services -- or the lack of them -- affect social work practice at all levels of intervention.  How a society understands the nature of social problems, how it assigns responsibility for those problems, and how it defines and allocates different kinds of assistance are fundamentally important to the lives of all its members, especially poor and vulnerable populations.  Social policies reflect the outcome of struggles over basic values in our society.  They determine how particular groups fare; moreover, they are the basis for the programs which social workers implement.

To be an effective social worker, one must understand the historical determinants of our current social welfare policies, institutions, and service delivery systems. One should be able to critique current social welfare policies and contribute to their reform on the basis of an understanding of recurrent institutional patterns, including systems of oppression.  A professional social worker must also have knowledge of the development of the profession, the role of the profession in shaping the institutions and programs intended to foster social functioning, and the profession’s engagement with the populations who utilize social welfare programs and services.  The promotion of social justice and human rights is a yardstick against which the social policies, institutions, services, and the profession itself are measured.

SSWN 670 is the first of two courses in a sequence that introduces social policies and service delivery. Students will become familiar with basic issues, concepts, values, terminology, frameworks and ethical issues that define social welfare policy and that influence their ability to work with diverse groups and populations at risk and to think critically. Students will learn about the core policies that comprise our social response to difficulties faced by individuals, families, groups and communities.

We will focus on the following themes:

1. The development of social work as a profession

2. The historic social, economic and philosophical trends which have shaped and

3. The intersection of the role and history of social work and social welfare institutions and policies in defining and reducing social problems.

4. Contemporary and global shifts in social welfare.

This course requires that students be willing and ready to engage in an ongoing, safe, respectful and honest dialogue with each other and their instructor around critical social issues where opinions might differ.

SSWN 671 Social Welfare Policy and Service Delivery Systems II

SSWN 671 is the second social policy and service delivery course in a sequence of two courses.  During the first course (SSWN 670) students were taught how to develop and articulate an understanding of the interaction of five key social forces-ideology, politics, history, economics, and social movements- to create and to change the social welfare system. This course, which has a contemporary focus, further enhances the student's ability to analyze, and design social policies based on an understanding of the factors that contribute to the existence of contemporary social problems.

SSWN 671 familiarizes the students with existing social policies, deepens their understanding of the conditions of socially and economically disadvantaged groups in our society, discusses the role of Social Work’s Code of Ethics in social policy and further sensitizes them to the political factors that contribute to the definition of social problems and the agenda for government intervention. It provides a core of knowledge and theoretical understanding that will encourage and develop the capacity for independent analysis of current social problems and social policy issues and for informed social action. Consistent with our professional social work values, this course helps students build knowledge and skills that social workers need in order to analyze, and make changes in, social welfare policy and program with the overall purpose of enhancing social well-being.  The professional values of justice and equity guide this work which work in tandem with the values of our profession.

The social welfare policies of a society represent and define how that society fundamentally understands social phenomena and collective human behavior.  From these understandings emerge "social constructions of social realities", or definitions of what and how social processes and factors contribute to social problems.  Society's responses to these problems are also socially constructed, which is to say that public and private responses are not necessarily objective or derived from a formula. Rather they are developed through a series of political processes.  This course emphasizes the theme that social welfare policies are a response to socially defined problems. The course stresses the importance of understanding cultural values and various uses of power in determining policy outcomes.  The student will also explore dominant strains of American political and economic thought that underpin various understandings of social phenomena and social policy responses within the United States.  Frameworks for policy analysis utilized in this course are guided by social work values of opportunity, social justice, and equitable distribution of finite resources.

This course is designed to familiarize the student with the major social policies currently in effect and proposals to revise them.  In addition, the course will develop the student’s capacity to analyze current policies and programs and their outcomes for clients and other members of vulnerable populations.  These skills and understandings will enable the student to become knowledgeable critics and formulators of improved social welfare programs at the local, state, and national level.

The major organizing themes of the course are:

  • the divisions among Americans based on income, race, ethnicity and gender;
  • the relationship between social constructions of the problems of the disadvantaged and the "realities" of their conditions; and
  • collective efforts to close the gaps in income, human rights, and general well-being that sustain those divisions.
  • The impact of social welfare policies, both current and past, on clients, agencies, service delivery your social work practice and values.

The social policy course is practice centered in keeping with our school’s overarching commitment to a practice centered curriculum.  This course helps students develop secondary research and writing skills similar to those that they will use in practice as they analyze social problems; strengths and capacities; social welfare policies and programs; and alternative policy and program responses for enhancing social well-being.  Students also develop skills in clearly and concisely communicating their social welfare policy and program analyses with professional colleagues and with the larger community.  This course focuses especially on helping students build practice skills for developing, implementing, and evaluating social welfare policies and programs that serve to value diversity, advocate for populations at risk, ending oppression and discrimination, and promoting social and economic justice.  Finally, students learn the additional policy practice skills of organizing and advocating for positive change. Learning social welfare policy requires that students be willing and ready to engage in an ongoing, safe, respectful and honest dialogue with each other and their instructor around the issues presented.

SSWN 730 Advanced Social Work Research

This second-semester course, of the one-year (two-semester) research sequence, continues to examine the role of social workers as both consumer and practitioners of research. This semester differs from the first in its increased emphasis on the development of practitioner-focused research skills, including single subject design and program evaluation. In addition, students will complete a research project and engage in activities such as generating research questions and hypotheses; data collection and analysis; and write up of methods, results, and discussion of results with implications for social work practice.  Similar to the first semester, there will be a continued emphasis on social work values and ethics, and research ethics, to guide social work research.

SSWN 740 Field Work III

The first half of the Advanced Concentration Year field practicum. During this semester, the focus is on developing clinical skills within a social work milieu. Interning within various fields of practice, students will have the opportunity to apply current best practices and to integrate the theoretical material that is taught in year two required and elective practice courses. Clinical Social Work Practice with Individuals and Advanced Practice Field Seminar are required concurrently. Prerequisites: SSWN 641, SSWN 642, SSWN 651. Co-requisites: SSWN 742, SSWN 750. 3 credits.

SSWN 741 Field Work IV

The second half of the Advanced Concentration Year field practicum and the final field practicum requirement. This semester focuses on further honing clinical skills within a social work environment with the opportunity to integrate advanced theoretical material within various fields of practice. Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice IV is required concurrently. Prerequisites: SSWN 740, SSWN 750. Co-requisites: SSWN 742, SSWN 751. 3 credits.

SSWN 742 Advanced Integrative Practice Field Seminar

This seminar is a one-year course designed to augment Advanced Concentration Year Field Education in conjunction with the Practice III (Clinical Social Work Practice with Individuals), and Practice IV (Clinical Social Work Practice with Families and Groups) courses.  Seminar content focuses specifically on professional growth and representation, the complex and multifaceted roles of social work, and the challenges provided in their evolving clinical role. 

Students will have the opportunity to openly explore ethical dilemmas and role conflicts along with personal and professional values.  Students will apply concepts and principles taught within the advanced practice year to their client populations while furthering their professional development.  Seminar content focuses specifically on conceptualizing their roles as social work interns within a social service delivery organization.  In addition students will further their professional development through case presentations and discussions.

SSWN 750 Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice with Individuals

This course is designed to progress student’s clinical social work skills by broadening students understanding of work with individuals within the person and environment, ecological and strengths based perspectives.  Students will build upon foundation level practice skills by exploring the principles and concepts associated with clinical social work such i.e., the therapeutic alliance, use of professional self, obstacles to change and negotiating difference.

As this is an advanced level course students are expected to build on the foundation level skills acquired within the first year. To that end the text assigned written by Norcross will afford students the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities as consumers of research. The Norcross text presents various therapeutic concepts thought to be impactful to the therapeutic relationship within the context of various qualitative and quantitative studies. Students will be challenged to utilize their acquired research skills with each reading as they evaluate the empirical status of the therapeutic concepts they are being oriented to. This exercise is intended to strengthen student research skills, improve upon critical thinking and prepare them to be self-reflective autonomous learners. As students navigate through the material they will be exposed to the unique struggles placed upon clients due to culture, class, ethnicity, race, age, sexual orientation, spirituality, ability and gender through the various course readings.

In an effort to prepare students for leadership roles in clinical social work practice students will be exposed to various theoretical models of assessment and intervention. 

Students will explore the traditional model of psychodynamic theory.  This model is thought to be one of the founding assessment and intervention models of our time. Student’s exploration of this model will provide a sound basis for understanding and provide a common reference point among other professionals.  Time limited therapies will be the second concentration area of study.  Students will examine an array of time sensitive therapies including task centered models, crisis intervention, solution focused brief therapy along with cognitive behavioral therapy. Socio political factors have caused a shift in practice that has made it necessary for many agencies to engage in brief therapies. By exposing students to time limited assessment and intervention techniques they will be better prepared to deal with these practice conditions. In addition, the cognitive behavioral therapy model is a widely accepted and heavily researched therapeutic intervention that works well with multiple client populations.  Students will also explore motivational enhancement therapy.  Motivational enhancement therapy is a relatively new theory of treatment and assessment that is gaining recognition and has excellent empirical support for its effectiveness.  Motivational enhancement therapy has been chosen because of its cutting edge approach with mandated clients, namely substance abusers.  Each of these therapeutic approaches will be considered within the context of a vulnerable or at risk population, specifically the aged (psychodynamic), adolescents in vulnerable populations (time limited therapies), and mandated clients (motivational enhancement therapy). 

Students will further their commitment to lifelong learning and strengthen their understanding of evidence based practice.  By teaching the principles of evidence based practices students gain the skill necessary to support self-reflective, autonomous, efficient practice. Students will also be presented with various approaches in self evaluation and the measure of process in order to further self reflection skills. 

SSWN 751 Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice with Coup Families

This course provides the opportunity for students to learn the concepts and theories currently informing work with couples and family systems. The course is designed to give students an immersion through class lecture, video demonstration and class exercises into the prominent theories utilized in contemporary practice.

Common factors and differences amongst theories are explored as well as best practices strategies. Students will have the opportunity to critically analyze the strengths and challenges of different theoretical models as they apply to modern day society. Students will also be immersed in the sub specialty of working with couples, which will include conflict resolution and working with different types of family organizations i.e. single parents, divorced families, blended families as well as the complexities of inter cultural couples/ families.

SSWN 760 Human Behavior and the Social Environment III: Issues and Perspectives in Psychopathology

As a component of preparing students for clinical practice in an urban, multicultural and diverse environment, this course expands on the foundation content introduced in Human Behavior and the Social Environment I & II.

Cognizant of the critical impact of culture, class, ethnicity, race, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, spirituality, ability, and gender upon the process of diagnosis and social work practice interventions, concepts of mental health and illness are viewed in the context of biopsychosocial factors which impact the person-environment interface. Multiple meanings of “normal” and “pathological” behavior are explored in depth.

Theories underpinning the construction and application of psychiatric diagnostic categories and treatment processes are studied and related to social work roles and functions. The theoretical justification for social work methods of assessment and intervention are presented within the context of the values of the profession and with a focus on the profession’s fundamental interest in promoting social and economic justice and in addressing the needs of populations at risk. How the way in which services are organized and administered impacts how we see (assessment) and what we do (intervention) is explored throughout the course.

SSWN 772 Values and Ethics for SW Practice and Service Delivery

This final course in the policy sequence focuses on the ethics of professional social work in its organizational context.  It draws on foundational skills and knowledge from social welfare policy, HBSE, research and practice courses, as well as field experience and integrative seminar reflections.

In this first part of this course, students reflect upon how social welfare organizations are vehicles for implementing policy to correct or eliminate social problems. They learn that social welfare organizations operate in environments that contain laws, policies, ethics, scarce resources and diverse vulnerable groups who have been unfairly treated; they learn how all of these elements are reflected in program design, grant-making, program evaluation, and strategic planning of social welfare interventions.  Recognizing the evolving organizational context of social work practice, students will be exposed to the basics of organizational structure, strategic planning and program logic models, and fundraising/grant development.  Relying on theories about human behavior and within an empirical framework, students learn that leadership, administrative supervision and personnel administration coordinate, direct and evaluate the energy of staff to solve and correct social problems and promote fairness.  Students apply the principles learned about organizations, management and evaluation to their field instruction or employment settings, or to propose new programs to fill an organizational gap and meet an existing need.

The second part of the course builds upon students’ capacity to apply ethical frameworks to a range of complex ethical dilemmas encountered in social welfare organizations in particular fields of practice including child welfare, gerontology, mental health, school social work, medical, and criminal justice services. Students will strengthen their knowledge of the National Association of Social Worker’s Code of Ethics, and examine conflicting and congruent personal, professional, and cross-cultural values. Students will examine and analyze more fully concepts such as confidentiality, conflict of interest, professional boundaries, and informed consent. In this course students will also become informed of the legal parameters of clinical social work practice, and become familiar with laws, regulations, and procedures in various areas of social work practice, and understand relevant legal principles, concepts and terms in relation to clinical social work practice. 

SSWN 799 Advanced Integrative Capstone in Social Work Knowledge and Practice

This Capstone course is designed for social work students to help apply their social work graduate educational experiences and integrate them into a standardized format. Core concepts and knowledge acquisition related to graduate program curriculum such as: Knowledge of Human Diversity and the Social Environment, Assessment and Intervention Planning, Direct and Indirect Practice, and Professional Relationships, Values and Ethics will be applied to test-taking strategy. This course will have three primary purposes: (1) Review the basics for taking a standardized test; (2) Review core concepts and coursework related to social work practice; (3) Integrate this information into a standardized testing format. This Capstone course will build upon all previous courses in the curriculum and the field internship assisting the student to break down general social work information and apply it toward passing the licensing exam, which is often required prior to beginning professional activity in the field of social work practice.