Mary Kay Brennan, MSW
The Seattle University Bachelor of Social Work Program's conception of generalist practice involves the use of social work knowledge, professional values, and an array of skills that can be adapted to work with diverse client systems of all sizes in a variety of settings. Generalist practitioners are prepared to employ critical thinking to flexibly choose among practice skills and roles employed through a process of planned change to intervene with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations and a variety of social problems.
Students educated for generalist practice are prepared to assist clients from an ecological and systems perspective, which locate the focus of work within the person in the environment interaction. Social Work skills for generalist practice are based on a strength-based perspective and empowerment theory within a process of planned change. Central to competent generalist practice are the Social Work’s profession’s values as articulated by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)’s Code of Ethics. These values include: service to others, social justice, human dignity and self-worth, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence.
In particular at Seattle University given our Jesuit Catholic tradition and resulting articulation of undergraduate education, social justice is at the heart of our program and preparation. Social justice focuses on social problems and contemporary policies and programs enacted to address them. Students therefore in social work are heavily steeped in the understanding of inequities, poverty, oppression and discrimination and strategies to pursue justice within the core liberal arts curriculum, social work curriculum, and campus life.
Seattle University Social Work Program mission is to prepare undergraduate students to become competent and effective entry-level, generalist social work professionals who value and respect diversity, anchor economic and social justice as central to their practice, and seek to use their knowledge and skills to improve human well-being.
The goals of the Bachelor of Social Work Program are derived from its mission, informed by CSWE’s Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) and specify the intentions of the program to prepare baccalaureate students with the knowledge, values, and skills: