Department of Social Work

College of Business and Public Affairs

Contact Info:
West Chester Campus
114 W. Rosedale Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383

PASSHE Center City Campus
701 Market Street, Concourse Level
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(610) 436-2527
Email: Department Chair


Mission, Goals & EPAS Core Competencies

Mission of the Undergraduate Social Work Program

The mission of the undergraduate social work program is to prepare students for beginning social work practice and lifelong learning. To this end, the program teaches the knowledge, values, and skills of generalist social work, with an emphasis on self-evaluation, critical thinking, information literacy, and understanding the intersections of people and their environments. Students apply micro, mezzo, and macro frameworks for assessment and intervention through experiential learning that includes two field placements over the course of three semesters. The program prepares students to adhere to the ethical standards of social work, to advocate for social and economic justice, and to promote the strengths and well-being of diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Students graduate with the core competencies appropriate to entry-level generalist social work as well as the foundation for graduate social work education.

Undergraduate Social Work Department Goals and Competencies

Goals for the Undergraduate Social Work Program are linked to core practice competencies as set forth in the Council on Social Work Education's 2008 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). With the liberal arts as its foundation, BSW graduates are prepared to engage in entry-level social work practice through mastery of these ten core competencies. As such, it is our goal that by completion of the program, students will be prepared to:

  1. Engage in evidence-based entry-level social work practice with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations within a multicultural society (EP 2.1.1, EP 2.1.3, EP 2.1.6, EP 2.1.8, EP 2.1.10).
  2. Practice according to the principles, values, and ethics that guide the social work profession (EP 2.1.2, EP 2.1.3).
  3. Influence social policies with the goal of alleviating poverty, oppression, and social injustice as well as advocating for human rights (EP 2.1.3, EP 2.1.4, EP 2.1.5, EP 2.1.6, EP 2.1.8).
  4. Identify and affect the bio-psycho-social, spiritual, and cultural functioning of people (EP 2.1.7, EP 2.1.9).
  5. Evidence practice from a culturally-competent perspective which recognizes, appreciates and applies the knowledge of diverse cultures, particularly those that differ from one's own (EP 2.1.4).

EPAS Core Competencies and Practice Behaviors

EP 2.1.1: Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.

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

EP 2.1.2: Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.

  • PB 7: Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice.
  • B 8: Make ethical decisions by applying standards of the NASW Code of Ethics and, as applicable, the IFSW Statement of Principles.
  • PB 9: Tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts.
  • PB 10: Apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions.

EP 2.1.3: Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.

  • PB 11: Demonstrate information literacy by distinguishing, appraising, and integrating multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge and practice wisdom.
  • PB 12: Analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation.
  • PB 13: Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues.

EP 2.1.4: Engage diversity and difference in practice.

  • PB 14: Recognize the extent to which a culture's structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power.
  • PB 15: Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups.
  • PB 16: Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences.
  • PB 17: View themselves as learners and engage with those with whom they work as informants.

EP 2.1.5: Advance human rights and social and economic justice.

  • PB 18: Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination.
  • PB 19: Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice.
  • PB 20: Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.

EP 2.1.6: Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

  • PB 21: Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry.
  • PB 22: Use research evidence to inform practice.

EP 2.1.7: Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.

  • PB 23: Utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation.
  • PB 24: Critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.

EP 2.1.8: Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.

  • PB 25: Analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being.
  • PB 26: Collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action.

EP 2.1.9: Respond to contexts that shape practice.

  • PB 27: Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services.
  • PB 28: Provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service-delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services.

EP 2.1.10a-d: Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups:

  • EP 2.1.10a: Engagement
    • PB 29: Substantively and affectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
    • PB 30: Use empathy and other interpersonal skills.
    • PB 31: Develop a mutually-agreed upon focus of work.
  • EP 2.1.10b: Assessment
    • PB 32: Collect, organize, and interpret client data.
    • PB 33: Assess client strengths and limitations.
    • PB 34: Develop mutually-agreed upon intervention goals and objectives.
    • PB 35: Select appropriate intervention strategies.
  • EP 2.1.10c: Intervention
    • PB 36: Initiate actions to achieve organizational goals.
    • PB 37: Implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities.
    • PB 38: Help clients resolve problems.
    • PB 39: Negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients.
    • PB 40: Facilitate transitions and endings.
  • EP 2.1.10d: Evaluation
    • PB 41: Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions