Core Competencies and Practice Behaviors
BA/BASW practice incorporates all ten core competencies. The social work major at the University of Akron is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Competency 2.1.1 – Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners function as social work professionals who:
- Advocate for client access to the services of social work;
- Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development;
- Attend to professional roles and boundaries;
- Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication;
- Engage in career-long learning; and
- Use supervision and consultation
Competency 2.1.2 – Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners engage in ethical decision making via applying NASW Code of Ethics and practice within the laws of the State of Ohio. They:
- Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice;
- Make ethical decisions by applying standards of the National Association of Social Work Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Social Work Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles;
- Tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts; and
- Apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions.
Competency 2.1.3 – Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners can discern social work principles and interventions and apply critical thinking based on principles of logic and scientific reasoning. They:
- Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom;
- Analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation; and
- Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues.
Competency 2.1.4 – Engage diversity and differences in practice
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners utilize critical consciousness to recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of differences in shaping life experiences. They:
- Recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power;
- Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups;
- Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences; and
- View themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants.
Competency 2.1.5 – Advance human rights and social and economic justice
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners recognize how individuals are marginalized based on differences and work towards eliminating injustice. They:
- Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination;
- Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice;
- Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.
Competency 2.1.6 – Engage in research-informed practice and practice informed research
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners understand the value of documentation that leads to evidence-based practice. They:
- Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry, and
- Use research evidence to inform practice.
Competency 2.1.7 – Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners utilize theoretical concepts of development of individuals over the life span and understand the impact of life transitions, as well as the consequences of contexts in which client systems exist. They:
- Utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation, and
- Critique and apply knowledge to understand persons and environment.
Competency 2.1.8 – Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to
deliver effective social work services
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners understand how the federal, international, and specifically Ohio Revised Code governs the function of agency-based practice and engage in policy practice. They:
- Analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being; and
- Collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action.
Competency 2.1.9 – Respond to contexts that shape practice
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners develop an appreciation and understanding of the nature of and uniqueness of service delivery in urban, suburban, and rural areas. They:
- Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, and scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services;
- Provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services.
2.1.10 (a-d) Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups,
organizations, and communities
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners utilize a variety of strategies to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate client systems in all cultural dimensions.
Competency 2.1.10(a) – Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners utilize knowledge, skills, and values to engageclients in an effective manner that creates and maintains clients’ participation in the problemsolving process. They:
- Substantively and affectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities;
- Use empathy and other interpersonal skills; and
- Develop a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes.
Competency 2.1.10(b) – Assess with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners utilize the problem solving process to facilitate the clients sharing appropriate information relative to their human condition. They:
- Collect, organize, and interpret client data;
- Assess client strengths and limitations;
- Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives; and
- Select appropriate intervention strategies.
Competency 2.1.10(c) – Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners utilize unconditional positive regard in prevention and intervention with clients in a collaborative process. They:
- Initiate actions to achieve organizational goals;
- Implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities;
- Help clients resolve problems;
- Negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients; and
- Facilitate transitions and endings.
Competency 2.1.10(d) – Evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
At the bachelor level, generalist practitioners build evidence-based practice through evaluating clients’ goal attainment and the outcome of the intervention. They:
Social workers critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions.